Executive Vice President

Barbara Gault, Ph.D., is the Executive Vice President of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Her work covers a wide range of issues, including college access and affordability, job quality, paid leave, poverty, political engagement, and the need for better early care and education options for working parents. She founded and leads IWPRs Student Parent Success Initiative, and has authored dozens of reports and publications, including Improving Child Care Access to Promote Postsecondary Success Among Low-Income Parents,  Resilient and Reaching for More: Challenges and Benefits of Higher Education for Welfare Participants and Their Children, " and Working First But Working Poor: The Need for Education and Training Following Welfare Reform.  She has testified in Congress on low-income women’s educational access, has spoken and delivered keynote presentations in venues throughout the country, and appears in a range of print, radio and television media outlets. Prior to joining IWPR, Dr. Gault conducted research at the Office of Children’s Health Policy Research, and served as a staff and board member of organizations promoting human rights in Latin America. She received her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. from the University of Michigan. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Coalition on Human Needs, and is a Scholar in Residence at American University.


Investing in Single Mothers’ Higher Education: National and State Estimates of the Costs and Benefits of Single Mothers’ Educational Attainment to Individuals, Families, and Society

Introduction   Earning a higher education is increasingly necessary for achieving family economic security. For single mothers, who are more likely to live in poverty than other women, earning postsecondary credentials can bring substantial benefits, from increased lifetime earnings and employment rates to better health outcomes and chances of success for their children (Attewell and…