Home » People » Iheoma U. Iruka

Iheoma U. Iruka

Iheoma U. Iruka

Iheoma U. Iruka

Founding Director, Equity Research Action Coalition
Faculty Fellow
Bypass, Room 402
Campus Box 8180
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8180

Academic Affiliation 

Research Professor
Department of Public Policy


Applied Developmental Psychology,
University of Miami
Applied Developmental Psychology,
University of Miami
Boston University
Developmental Psychology,
Temple University

Area(s) of Work

Biographical Statement 

Iheoma U. Iruka, PhD, is founding director of the Equity Research Action Coalition at Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute and research professor in the Department of Public Policy at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to rejoining Carolina, she served as chief research innovation officer and director of The Center for Early Education Research and Evaluation at HighScope Educational Research Foundation. Dr. Iruka was previously at the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska and the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. Dr. Iruka is engaged in projects and initiatives focused on how evidence-informed policies, systems, and practices in early education can support the optimal development and experiences of children from low-income and ethnic minority households, such as through family engagement and support, quality rating and improvement systems, and early care and education systems and programs. She has been engaged in addressing how best to ensure excellence for young diverse learners, especially Black children, such as through development of a classroom observation measure, examination of non-traditional pedagogical approaches, public policies, and publications geared toward early education practitioners and policymakers.

Dr. Iruka has served or serves on numerous national boards and committees, including the Brady Education Foundation and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committees on Supporting Parents of Young Children, and Applying Neurobiological and Socio-behavioral Sciences from Prenatal through Early Childhood Development: A Health Equity Approach.