About ICF

Shefali Pai-Samant

Vice President, Early Education
Shefali is an early childhood education expert with more than 20 years of experience in evaluating early childhood education programs and training technical assistance centers.

Shefali provides federal, state, and local clients with technical expertise in implementing and evaluating early childhood education programs. She has worked on projects for a variety of clients including the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation; Office of Head Start; Office of Child Care; Children’s Bureau, Department of Education; Texas Education Agency; and Bernard van Leer Foundation.

Shefali played a key role in various national early childhood education projects including Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey; Head Start National Training and Technical Assistance System Quality Assurance Contract; and Head Start Research to Practice: Assessing Evidence-Based Head Start Program Activities. She is highly experienced in designing research and evaluation studies, conducting literature reviews, and designing data collection tools, among other skills.

Recently, Shefali served as the principal investigator for the Texas Education Agency’s preschool development grant statewide birth-five needs assessment and as the senior advisor on the Alexandria City Public Schools’ family engagement evaluation project. She currently oversees a portfolio of early childhood projects including the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation’s Head Start, the Commander Navy Installations Command’s MilitaryChildCare.com, and the U.S. Coast Guard’s 2020 Child Care Needs Assessment.

  • Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies
  • Usher, K.P., Calcerano, K., Ferreras, D., & Pai-Samant, S. (2019). ACPS family engagement initiative final report. Report prepared for Alexandria City Public Schools, November 2019.
  • Pai-Samant, S., Branscome, K., Sun, J., McLaughlin, C., McCreedy, B., Taylor, J, Uekawa, K.,
  • Michalski, B., Spinney, S., & Horwood, T.J. (2019). Early childhood needs assessment. Report prepared for Texas Education Agency, July 2019.
  • Gupta, V., Rajesh, A., Pai-Samant, S., & Gupta, P. (2019). Fathers and child education in tribal
  • Odisha: Reflections of commitment amidst constraints. In R. Sriram (Ed.), Fathering in India: Images and realities (pp. 253-265). Singapore, SG: Springer.
  • Rajesh, A. & Pai-Samant, S. (2017, March-April). Geeto, nachcho, gappo (singing, dancing,
  • and storytelling): A route to joyful learning. Exchange, 39(2), 79-82.
  • Usher, K., Keener Mast, D., Pai-Samant, S., & Howley, C. (2017). Building connections
  • Between families and schools: A case study of the tellin’ stories family engagement program. Detroit, Michigan: W. K. Kellogg Foundation.
  • O’ Donnel, B., Pai-Samant, S., Horwood, T.J., Taylor, J., Sun, J., Hahn, K, Kocot, C., … Marwah, E. (2016). Texas public prekindergarten class size and student-to-teacher ratio study. Austin, Texas: Texas Education Agency.