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David Deming

Principal Investigator

David is a Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is the PI of Skills Lab, and his research focuses on issues related to education, skill development, and economic inequality. You can find non-technical versions of David's work by reading his columns in the New York Times or other writeups, linked on his research page.

Ben Weidmann

Director of Research

Ben co-founded the lab after completing his PhD at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Ben is an experimentalist whose current research focuses on building tools to measure teamwork and decision-making skills. He holds masters degrees in statistics, research methods and education, along with bachelor degrees in economics and history. 

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Josh Benhamou

Senior Developer

Josh is leading the development of our decision-making research tools, while also building the broader Skills Lab experimental platform. Prior to working with Skills Lab, Josh worked as a full-stack engineer in a wide range of sectors, including life sciences and e-commerce. He has a BSc of Computer Science from Bristol University.


Samantha Batel Kane

Doctoral Researcher

Samantha is a Doctoral Student studying education policy and program evaluation and a Partnering in Education Research (PIER) fellow with the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University. She holds an MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School. Her expertise is in the economics of education and educational decision-making.

Tessa Forshaw

Doctoral Researcher

Tessa is a Doctoral Candidate in Education and a Presidential Scholar at the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Her expertise is in the application of Learning Sciences and Educational Technologies to adult reskilling populations. Her most recent study explored the use of visualization technologies as a mechanism for prompting analogical reasoning in marginalized and vulnerable adult jobseekers

Kadeem Noray

Doctoral Researcher

Kadeem is a Ph.D. Candidate at Harvard University and a graduate scholar in the Harvard Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy. Kadeem earned his M.S. in Applied Economics from Montana State University in 2017 and his B.S. in Mathematics, Economics, and Physics at Hillsdale College in 2015. His research focuses on understanding talent markets: the institutions that facilitate and provide people with human capital and career opportunities.


David Shacklette

Product Manager

David is the Product Manager for the Skills Lab. Prior to this position, David led product management for Fortune Education, a startup initiative within Fortune Magazine, and has worked with a variety of Silicon Valley based startups. David is a graduate of Stanford University, where he earned his Master's degree in Symbolic Systems, focusing on topics in the field of Educational Neuroscience.  

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Yixian Xu

Research Fellow

Yixian is the Research Fellow at Skills Lab. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Wuhan University and Master’s degree in Human Development and Education from Harvard University. Yixian worked at a human rights NGO in Wuhan before her graduate study at Harvard. She is interested in using behavioral research findings and psychological intervention to promote broader social good.

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