People

Kim McCombs-Thornton, Ph.D.

Senior Research Associate

Kim McCombs-Thornton has more than 25 years of experience leading, designing, and implementing evaluation research projects for early childhood and family support initiatives. She is an applied social scientist with expertise in quasi-experimental design, survey development, qualitative methods, and cost studies. She has been on leadership teams for multiple organizations serving children and families with skills in collaboration, team facilitation, supervision, data-driven decision making, and racial equity strategic planning.

McCombs-Thornton is the principal investigator for a project using Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation data to assess Parents as Teachers outcomes. She also works with the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Technical Assistance Resource Center to provide evaluation technical assistance to MIECHV awardees and is team lead for the Family-Level Assessment and State of Home Visiting qualitative study on family engagement in home visiting. Previously, she served as the deputy director for the Design Options for Home Visiting Evaluation project and team lead for the HealthySteps Outcome Pilot Project process evaluation.

Before joining JBA, McCombs-Thornton was the research and evaluation director for North Carolina Smart Start, where she oversaw 10 multiyear evaluations of child health and family support initiatives based in racially and ethnically diverse communities across the state. Prior to that, she was principal investigator for a mixed methods evaluation of the ZERO TO THREE Safe Babies Court Teams, earning the initiative promising status from the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare.

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.