Dr. Chelsea Lynes Richard (she/her) is the Director of Research and Strategy at South Carolina First Steps, a state agency and 501(c)(3) non-profit focused on supporting children birth through five directly and their families and communities. She directs all agency data infrastructure and capacity building, strategic plan measurement and operationalization, program evaluation, and research for the agency and supports the early childhood system at large. She leads a team of three, who support data infrastructure, evaluation capacity, and continuous quality improvement.
Dr. Richard is currently enrolled in the Certified Public Manager certificate program with the State of South Carolina’s Department of Administration, which she plans to complete in 2023. Recently, she was named one of Columbia’s “Best & Brightest 35 and Under” by Columbia Business Monthly.
Chelsea has Doctor of Philosophy (2021) and Master of Science in Public Health (2015) degrees in Epidemiology, both from the University of South Carolina (UofSC). Chelsea was awarded the Presidential and Winona B. Vernberg Fellowships at UofSC for her studies and is a member of the Mu Chapter of the Delta Omega Honor Society. Chelsea earned a Bachelor of Science (Magna cum Laude) degree in Biology (2012) from the University of Massachusetts- Boston. She is originally from Norfolk, MA.
In her free time, she likes to read, drink craft beer, watch terrible reality television, and hang out with her husband, Drew, and animals (two dogs, Chevy and Kevin, and big fat cat, José).