Staff: Mark Turner, Ph.D.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Mark Turner is the Founder, President, and Principal Associate at Optimal Solutions Group (Optimal), a non-partisan public policy research firm that provides rigorous analysis and technical assistance to government agencies and non-profit organizations. He leads a multi-disciplinary staff of more than 60 employees in designing and implementing research studies and providing technical assistance on a variety of policy relevant topics that span Optimal’s four research centers – education, workforce development, health, housing and economic development. Many of these projects are randomized field trials where Dr. Turner has managed recruitment, large-scale data collection, and technical working groups. He also oversees the design and implementation of large technical assistance projects, including the National Center on Service Obligations.
Prior to founding Optimal, Dr. Turner was a Research Scientist at the Institute for Policy Studies and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Johns Hopkins University. Prior to JHU, he was a Research Associate at the Urban Institute and prior to that worked for the Government Accountability Office. He has authored more than 20 reports and publications, several in peer-reviewed journals.
Dr. Turner earned a B.A. in economics from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Maryland.
Dr. Turner's Other Affiliations
Adjunct Professor, Georgetown Public Policy Institute, Georgetown University
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Johns Hopkins University
Research Affiliate, Joint Center for Poverty Research, University of Chicago/Northwestern University
Advisory Board Member, D.C. Commission on Black Men and Boys
Secretary and Web Administrator, National Economic Association
Member, American Economic Association
Member, American Evaluation Association
Member, Baltimore Area Evaluators
Member, Justice Research and Statistics Association
Member, Prince George's Chamber of Commerce