Katie Jackson

Director of Research Operations

What is your role and function at WPS?

As the Director of Research Operations, I essentially make sure things are running smoothly in R&D. Of course, there is no “typical” day, but I oversee our data collection projects and work with all of our Research Assistants, Research Coordinator, and Project Directors to determine each project’s data needs, enroll data collectors, and find appropriate clinical sites. I also work with authors on intervention materials—I like being able to be part of the next-steps process so that clinicians have options for after the assessment is completed.


What issues or needs are you an advocate for inside the company?

Professional development. I think it’s mutually beneficial for both the employee and the organization if employees are able to grow and learn within their current roles and grow into new positions. Having access to regular trainings, workshops, and effective mentoring managers goes a long way and will help us all thrive.


How long have you been at WPS?

I first started at WPS in June 2005 as a Research Assistant but left in 2009 to pursue graduate studies. I later found my way back in 2013. Things have certainly evolved since 2005 (including myself!), but the company culture and enthusiasm for building employee morale are prominent standouts. Happy team = productive organization, right?


Where are you from? Where did you grow up?

The first half of my childhood was spent in Southern California. My family then moved to the Dallas/Ft. Worth suburbs. Eager to get back to the SoCal weather and beaches, I moved to Los Angeles after high school and have been here ever since.


What are three personal things about you people probably wouldn’t know?

1) During my pre-mom life, I was a little obsessed with finding different places to run stairs; running the Hollywood Bowl stairs on the weekend became one of my favorite pastimes.

2) I own a guitar. Do I play? No. I barely passed my beginner’s guitar class freshman year of college.

3) I was on my high school’s dance team. Football is big in Texas. When your football team isn’t that great, people look forward to the halftime show. Once a Raiderette, always a Raiderette.


What’s your personal connection to the WPS mission?

I’ve always planned to enter the helping profession, but my true passion is seeking to empower others. My training, experiences, and work in social work definitely reinforced and secured that drive. Working for an organization that strives to empower clinicians so that they can empower the families and individuals they serve makes me proud and excited.


What is your educational background?

I have a BA in psychology from USC (Fight On!) as well as a master’s in social work and master’s in urban planning from USC (Go Trojans!). Yes, I bleed cardinal and gold. Fun fact: my 2-year-old won’t say “I love you” but tells anyone “Fight On!”


What’s something you’re currently studying or learning?

By day, I’m currently working to enhance my statistical skills through various trainings for all our many data analyses. And by night, I’m learning to embrace my off-key singing voice to entertain and crack up my 2-year-old daughter.


What do you enjoy most about working at WPS?

The people! We have some pretty great colleagues within the WPS family, but I also love meeting new faces and customers at conferences, engaging with brilliant and talented authors, and working with enthusiastic data collectors.


What did you do before WPS?

In between my WPS years, I went to graduate school for a dual master’s program in social work and urban planning. After that, I was with the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development working with prevention and intervention agencies across the city.


Where can we contact you? 

My Email

My LinkedIn