Tracy Costigan, director, Learning in the Research-Evaluation-Learning (REL) unit, joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2014. As learning officer, Costigan is responsible for leading organizational learning and coordinating institutional knowledge in support of effective and responsive strategies and programs. Through this work, Costigan aims to advance a learning orientation that is central to the Foundation’s culture, one in which leadership and staff fully value and recognize learning as a priority, share a common language, and are able to create an atmosphere of trust, curiosity, and exploration.
"As we work to build a Culture of Health, we need to extract data and insights, and analyze these to better inform our decision-making," says Costigan. "We are aiming to elevate and embed learning throughout our strategy cycles, get more systematic about leveraging learning from our work and others', and share what we've learned with the field."
Costigan previously served as a senior research and evaluation officer for the Foundation's efforts to ensure that all children and their families have an equal opportunity to attain optimal physical, social, and emotional development and well-being. She has managed a research and evaluation portfolio related to creating healthier school environments and supporting early childhood development. This included research in the areas of social and emotional development, mindfulness and compassion sciences, creating family supports, and adolescent development. In addition, Costigan has supported research related to building community resilience, particularly in the context of achieving equity and addressing impacts of environmental change on health and well-being.
Previously, Costigan has served as a principal research scientist with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) in Washington, D.C., and as a clinical research associate at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). She holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Medical College of Pennsylvania/Hahnemann University and BA in Biology-Psychology from Tufts University.
Outside of work, Costigan enjoys skiing, biking, gardening, cooking, and “just about any ‘outdoorsy’ activity” with her family.