Dr. Morrissey is an SPA Dean’s Scholar Associate Professor. Her work centers on examining and improving public policies for vulnerable children. Ongoing research examines early care and education policy, family economic instability, and neighborhood poverty. She is author of Cradle to Kindergarten: A New Plan to Combat Inequality (2017, 2021, Russell Sage Foundation). Her research has been published in journals including Pediatrics, Child Development, Developmental Psychology, and the Journal of Marriage and Family, and has been funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the US Dept of Health and Human Services, and USDA.
In 2020, Dr. Morrissey was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. She also services as a commissioner on the Washington, DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s Healthy Youth & Schools Commission.
From January 2013 to August 2014, Dr. Morrissey was on leave from AU serving as senior advisor for Human Services Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She worked primarily on President Obama’s Early Learning Initiative, including Early Head Start and child care. Prior to joining the AU faculty in 2010, Taryn Morrissey served as a health policy advisor on the staff of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, first for Senator Edward Kennedy and then for Senator Tom Harkin. Dr. Morrissey worked primarily on federal health reform. She began her career in policy as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) / Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) congressional fellow.