Tessa Heeren

Title & Affiliation
Evaluation Research Specialist Health Policy Research Program


  • MSW, Social Work, University of Iowa, 2016
  • BA, Advertising, Iowa State University, 2013

Tessa Heeren brings a background in social work and public health to the Public Policy Center’s interdisciplinary teams. Her experience in social service delivery drives her passion for informing equitable and sustainable public policy through applied research. Heeren strives to create products that are collaborative, accessible and stakeholder-centered. In her work at the PPC, Heeren specializes in mixed methods research to evaluate health and education policies and programming.

As a Research Specialist, Heeren’s roles in projects include conceptual research planning, team management, survey development, data collection and analysis, and report production. Heeren is involved in various Public Policy Center research projects. 

Research Interests

  • Community-based participatory research
  • Data visualization
  • Evidence-based policy
  • Mental and behavioral health
  • Network analysis
  • Process evaluation and implementation science
  • Public health
  • Qualitative methods
  • Social determinants of health
  • Systemic inequities