39th Annual NAPIPM Educational Conference
August 5 - 8, 2019
Sheraton Memphis Downtown | Memphis, TN

Karen Cunnyngham specializes in federal nutrition assistance programs, including SNAP, and microsimulation modeling. Cunnyngham, who has been with Mathematica for more than 18 years, is the principal investigator for projects for USDA involving the use of microsimulation to estimate how changes in SNAP policy would affect benefit costs, eligibility, and participation. The projects also clean and edit the SNAP Quality Control (QC) data and use the data as the basis for a SNAP microsimulation model and SNAP-related research. Cunnyngham directs additional projects for USDA to provide ad hoc support for statistical questions and data analysis for SNAP QC systems and to assess the use of state SNAP administrative data to improve SNAP eligibility estimates. Recently, Cunnyngham directed Mathematica’s work on a project for USDA to assess the feasibility of revising the SNAP Quality Control process. For the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Cunnyngham directs projects to (1) simulate the effects of proposed changes to SNAP policy and funding and (2) develop measures to assess progress in advancing family supports focused on nutrition, income, and early childhood.
Cunnyngham has presented research findings to policy and professional groups, including at conferences for the Association of Public Policy and Management, the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology, and the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation. She testified before the House Committee on Agriculture’s Nutrition Subcommittee to (1) address proposed changes to SNAP waiver area criteria and (2) share resources that policymakers could use to gain a deeper understanding of SNAP as well as before the House Committee on Agriculture about using SNAP data and microsimulation models to analyze how state policy options affect the SNAP population.

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