University at Buffalo

Jaekyung Lee

Jaekyung Lee



Specialty/Research Focus

Big Data; Access and Equity; International Education; Educational Policy; Leadership; Large-Scale Assessment and Research; Higher Education; STEM education; Race, Inequality, and Education; Social Justice; Psychometrics; Quantitative Research Methods; Program Evaluation; Social and Emotional Development

Professional Summary:

Jaekyung Lee, (University of Chicago, PhD), is a professor and former dean of education at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. Being a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), a Fellow of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC), and a Fulbright Global Scholar, Lee is an international leader in educational policy research and evaluation on the issues of educational accountability, excellence and equity. His research is aimed at improving evidence-based policies and high-impact practices towards holistic and equitable education for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), while advocating systemic, cross-sector whole-child education reform for closing the achievement/well-being gaps among disadvantaged and marginalized students.

His interdisciplinary research draws on equity-centered critical policy analysis and quantitative methods, with the secondary analysis of large-scale national education datasets. Lee is the author/editor of books, including "The Anatomy of Achievement Gaps: Why and How American Education is Losing (But Can Still Win) the War on Underachievement" (Oxford University Press, 2016) and "Centering Whole-Child Development in Global Education Reform: International Perspectives on Agendas for Educational Equity and Quality" (Routledge, 2022). His research helped inform and advance educational reform policy debates across the nation, including work in collaboration with the University of Colorado National Education Policy Center, the Harvard University Institutional Antiracism and Accountability Project, and the UCLA Civil Rights Project.

His research has been supported and recognized with many grants, fellowships and awards. His projects received funding support from the AERA, IES, NCES, NSF, and Spencer Foundation. He was the recipient of the National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship, the AERA Raymond B. Cattell Early Career Award, the Fellowship of the Stanford University Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS), the Rockefeller Institute of the Government Richard P. Nathan Public Policy Fellowship, the Korean-American Educational Researcher Association (KAERA) Distinguished Researcher Award, the Western New York Educational Service Council Robert W. Heller Award, the Fulbright Global Scholar Award (Visiting Scholars in Korea, Kazakhstan and Vietnam), and the World Education Research Association (WERA) Visiting Researcher Award (South Africa). He is the Chair of AERA International Relations Committee, promoting international exchange of innovative research ideas and best practices for global education improvement.

Education and Training:
  • PhD, University of Chicago
Awards and Honors:
  • World Education Research Association (WERA) Visiting Researcher Award (University of Pretoria, South Africa); World Education Research Association (WERA); 2024-05-01;
  • Fulbright Global Scholar Award; The US State Department Fulbright Program; 2020-04-09;
  • Richard P. Nathan Public Policy Fellowship (2018); The Rockefeller Institute of Government; 2018-01-01;
  • Robert W. Heller Award; Western New York Educational Service Council; 2015-10-01;
Recent Publications:
Edited Book:
  • Lee, J. & Wong, K. (Eds.) (2022). Centering Whole-Child Development in Global Education Reform: International Perspectives on Agendas for Educational Equity and Quality. New York: Routledge.
Journal Article:
  • Lee, J., Kim, N., Su, M., & Greenwood, S. (2024). What High-Impact Practices Work for Minoritized Students? Institutional Inequities in College Learning Opportunities and Outcomes. Trends in Higher Education 3(2), 180-198.
  • Lee, J., Kim, N., & Su, M. (2021). Immigrant and International College Students’ Learning Gaps: Improving Academic and Sociocultural Readiness for Career and Graduate/Professional Education. International Journal of Educational Research Open.
  • Lee, J. (2020). What’s Missing from the Nation’s Report Card. Phi Delta Kappan [Online]
  • Lee, J. & Lee, M. (2020). Is 'Whole Child' Education Obsolete? Public School Principals' Educational Goal Priorities in the Era of Accountability. Educational Administration Quarterly. DOI:
Recent Presentations:
Invited Lectures:
  • Lee, J. (2023, May). Transforming Lives through Education: Critical Lessons from South Korea and New Pathways to Realize Asian Dreams. Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education Seminar. Astana, Kazakhstan.;
  • Lee, J., Seo, Y., & Faith, M. (2024, April). Whole-Child Development Losses and Racial Inequalities during the Pandemic: Fallouts of School Accountability Turnover with Remote Learning and Unprotective Community. Paper presented at the 2024 annual meeting of American Educational Research Association (AERA), Philadelphia.;
  • Lee, J. & Su, M. (2023, April). Re-envisioning American Education Reform: How and Why Whole Community Environment Matters for Whole Child Development. Symposium Paper presented at the 2023 annual meeting of American Educational Research Association (AERA), Chicago.;
  • Lee, J., Cobanoglu, A., & Anderson, A. (2023, April). What Works For (or Against) Whom, Why and How? Towards Critical Race-Conscious Education Policy/Program Evaluation for Equity. Paper presented at the 2023 annual meeting of American Educational Research Association (AERA), Chicago.;
  • Lee, J., Saultz, A., & Vasquez, J. (2023, April). State Accountability Systems. Symposium “Future of Measurement and Accountability” Opinion Essay presented at the 2023 annual meeting of American Educational Research Association (AERA), Chicago.;
Recent Grants:
  • HELP (Health-Education-Life Protection) for At-Risk Children in Disaster-Affected Nations; Local; UB Office of International Education; Awarded; (06/01/2023-05/31/2025)
  • Academic and Sociocultural Readiness for Postgraduate Education among Immigrant and International Students: Promoting Equal Access and Success in Graduate/Professional Schools; Foundation and Research Organization; Access/Lex Institute and the Association for Institutional Research; Awarded; (03/01/2019-05/31/2020)
Recent Activities:
Editorial and Review:
  • Consulting Editor of Educational Psychology: An International Journal of Experimental Educational Psychology
  • Editorial Board Member, Korean Educational Development Institute (KEDI) Journal of Educational Policy, 2009 – Present
  • Editorial Board Member, American Educational Research Journal (Social and Institutional Analysis Section), 2014 - 2017
Professional Service:
  • AERA International Relations Committee (IRC) Chair
  • Fulbright U.S. National Screening Committee Member for English Teacher Assistantship Program, 2021 - Present