Connie Baird Thomas

Associate Director of SSRC Policy Studies and Evaluation and Research Group (ERG)

Dr. Baird-Thomas is the Associate Director of the Social Science 

Center for Policy Studies and Director of the newly established Evaluation Research Group, which offers a range of evaluation and research support services to local, state, and national organizations. Dr. Baird-Thomas received her undergraduate degree from Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS. She began her graduate studies at Washington University, St. Louis in the areas of Sociology and Criminology. She received the Ph.D. in Sociology from Mississippi State University.

Dr. Baird-Thomas’s primary interests include program evaluation, health equity and STD/HIV prevention among youth at-risk for sexually transmitted infections. She is currently leading the Mississippi Data Project, which provides data and research for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and its grantees. As Co-Principal Investigator of the Mississippi Child Health Development Project (SSRC) she helps lead efforts to improve child health by building a statewide system of early childhood developmental screenings and interventions.

In the area of program evaluation, Dr. Baird-Thomas has over 15 years’ experience and has been either the lead evaluator or co-investigator for numerous program evaluations. Recent evaluation efforts include: The Fatherhood Initiative of the Healthy Families Mississippi home visiting program (Mississippi Department of Human Services); Health Help Mississippi (Mississippi Health Advocacy Program); Mississippi Delta Health Collaborative (Mississippi State Department of Health/CDC); and Mississippi TRIALS Research Center (National Institutes of Health).

She is a current member of the American Evaluation Association.

Dr. Baird-Thomas’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Mississippi State Department of Health, the Mississippi Department of Human Services and the Mississippi Health Advocacy program. Her work has been published in Health and Justice, Evaluation and Program Planning, the Journal of Adolescent Health, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and Criminal Justice and Behavior.