Protecting and Promoting School Choice

EFI Publications

EFI Announces Director of Research

For Immediate Release
August 4, 2021

James D. Paul Joins the Educational Freedom Institute as Director of Research

PHOENIX—The Educational Freedom Institute (EFI) announced that James D. Paul will join the organization as Director of Research.

Paul, a Distinguished Doctoral Fellow at the University of Arkansas, will conduct research on school choice, as well as academic freedom in higher education. A third-year doctoral student in the University of Arkansas’ Department of Education Reform, Paul will continue to pursue his PhD concurrently with the role at EFI.

“We are excited to welcome James to the Educational Freedom Institute,” said Matthew Nielsen, Founder and Board Chair of EFI. “He has developed an outstanding research agenda. With James joining our Executive Director, Corey DeAngelis, they are building a leading team to conduct and disseminate the kind of high-impact research on school choice and educational freedom that EFI has become known for.”

Paul previously worked as an Associate Policy Director at the Foundation for Excellence in Education, where he researched and designed private school choice programs in collaboration with state partners. Prior to that, Paul was a Senior Education Policy Analyst at the Commonwealth Foundation in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He has testified in favor of school choice programs before state legislators in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Paul’s commentaries on education policy have appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, National Review Online, and The Federalist, among other outlets.

“It’s an honor to join an organization led by leading intellectuals on school choice and education policy more broadly,” Paul said. “I am excited to have the freedom to ask important research questions, explore answers to those questions using rigorous methods, and influence critical debates regarding K-12 and higher education policy.”

Paul received his B.A. and M.P.A. from Syracuse University.

Founded in early 2019, Educational Freedom Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank that exists to research, document, and report the benefits that school choice provides to students, families, and communities. We support policies that protect and promote school choice, knowing that the free market, when allowed to flourish, will provide unparalleled education options of the highest quality to families from all walks of life. We pursue this mission using objective data and through publishing our findings.


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Corey DeAngelis, Executive Director

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