Rafiqah Mustafaa serves as a research consultant supporting a variety of CASEL’s internal continuous improvement projects. In this role, Rafiqah analyzes and documents learnings about SEL implementation to improve CASEL’s technical assistance and resources, and to support researchers and educators in improving their SEL-related work. Prior to this role, Rafiqah served as a CASEL continuous improvement research associate, supporting a group of CASEL’s partner districts including Baltimore City Public Schools, Guilford County Schools, and Minneapolis Public Schools.
Before joining CASEL, Rafiqah supported planning and evaluation capacity-building for Chicago-based foundations and nonprofits as an evaluation coach at PIE Org. Prior to that, Rafiqah conducted research and evaluation projects for Chicago nonprofits and for the City of Champaign, Ill., at Institution Builders, Inc., an evaluation consulting company she co-founded.
Rafiqah is dedicated to supporting social and educational organizations’ use of data to improve the lives and work of stakeholders. She is concerned with the design, implementation, and evaluation of social and educational policy and programs and the role of various factors, e.g. social science research, in these processes. Her previous research examined how university-based poverty research centers aimed to influence government policy, how parents and teachers of children enrolled in Head Start defined school readiness and collaborated with each other, and how community-based programs supported youth’s transition into adulthood.
Rafiqah earned a doctorate and a master’s in educational policy studies, with an evaluation specialization from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and bachelor’s degrees in political science and sociology from Pennsylvania State University. Rafiqah is a Philadelphia native living in Chicago. She enjoys jogging , spending time by the water, cooking plant-based meals and seafood, and traveling with her family.