Kimberly McCombs-Thornton, Ph.D.

Senior Research Associate

Kimberly McCombs-Thornton has more than 25 years of experience working with nonprofits and universities to evaluate programs for children and families. She is an applied social scientist with expertise in quasi-experimental design, survey development, qualitative methods, cost studies, and technical assistance. She has directed evaluations related to early childhood obesity, child care, early literacy, child welfare, and pediatric HIV/AIDS, among others. McCombs-Thornton also has extensive experience reviewing and rating evidence for early childhood programs.

McCombs-Thornton serves as the deputy director for the Design Options for Home Visiting Evaluation project. She leads a team in developing Pay for Outcomes resources and provides evaluation technical assistance to states for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program. For the HealthySteps Outcome Pilot Project, she serves as team lead for the process evaluation and the development of data collection technical assistance products.

Prior to joining JBA, McCombs-Thornton was the research and evaluation director for Smart Start, North Carolina’s nationally recognized early childhood initiative. She also directed evaluation efforts for ZERO TO THREE’s Safe Babies Court Teams.

McCombs-Thornton received an M.P.P. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in public health from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.