Lakshmi Jayaram is President of the Inquiry Research Group LLC and Senior Policy Fellow in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland – Baltimore County. Dr. Jayaram is also a Faculty Affiliate in Sociology at the University of South Florida and Adjunct Faculty in Political Science at the University of Tampa with 25 years of professional experience, as a professor, researcher, evaluator, consultant, and public policy practitioner.
Dr. Jayaram serves as Co-Principal Investigator of a longitudinal education study funded by the National Science Foundation, and Co-Investigator of two federal child welfare evaluation studies as well. Dr. Jayaram specializes in qualitative and mixed methods research, with a focus on social disparities and policy-relevant studies. Her publications include peer-reviewed articles and a collaborative book under review, Unequal Contexts: The Pursuit of Social Mobility amid Precarity and Security.
Dr. Jayaram also worked at the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention at Virginia Tech during the center’s infancy after the mass tragedy, and led community-engaged participatory research and related curriculum development. Prior to academia, Dr. Jayaram worked at The White House, the Department of Justice, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the Department of Defense. She received her master's degree in public policy from the University of Chicago and her doctorate in sociology from Johns Hopkins University.