• Faculty Co-chair and Director of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University
  • Adjunct Lecturer in Education and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government
  • Research Fellow at the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy
  • Co-Founder and Senior Research Director at Tripod Education Partners
  • Council of Distinguished Scientists for the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development at The Aspen Institute

About Ronald Ferguson

Ronald F. Ferguson is an MIT-trained economist who focuses social science research on economic, social, and educational challenges. He has been on the faculty at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government since 1983, after full-time appointments at Brandeis and Brown Universities. In 2014, he co-founded Tripod Education Partners and shifted into an adjunct role at the Kennedy School, where he remains a fellow at the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy and faculty director of the university-wide Achievement Gap Initiative (AGI).

By the late 1980s, he had begun to do research and writing on education and youth development, because academic skill disparities were contributing to growing wage gaps. His writings on the topic appeared in publications of the National Research Council, the Brookings Institution, the U.S. Department of Education, and various books and journals. Harvard Education Press published his book Toward Excellence with Equity: An Emerging Vision for Closing the Achievement Gap. 

Ferguson’s current focus as AGI director is an initiative titled the Boston Basics. It takes a socio-ecological saturation approach, collaborating with many partners to reach extended families with caregiving advice for infants and toddlers. In addition, Ferguson is co-authoring a book on how parenting helps to shape highly successful people.

Ferguson holds an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a doctorate from MIT, both in economics. He has been happily married for 39 years and is the father of two adult sons.

Publications