Mirka Martel

Head of Research, Evaluation and Learning

Mirka Martel is IIE’s Head of Research, Evaluation & Learning (REL) and a recognized researcher and author on international education issues spanning global academic mobility, international leadership and scholarship, and impact and evaluation. Her academic and professional focus is on advancing the role of research and evaluation in international education, using data for impact and storytelling, and leveraging insights to inform programs and policy.

Dr. Martel has been at IIE for over ten years and oversees two key resources international education practitioners use to map academic mobility flows in the United States and worldwide – the historic Open Doors report on international educational exchange and the Project Atlas research initiative on global student mobility.

On an annual basis, Dr. Martel manages over 30 research projects and evaluations for IIE programs and external clients, including the Ford Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. She is the Project Director of the Ford Foundation’s International Fellowships Program (IFP) 10-year Alumni Tracking Study,  an unprecedented study measuring the impact of international scholarships on emerging social justice leaders from marginalized communities in 22 countries.

Publications by Dr. Martel include the annual Open Doors report, as well as book chapters, reports, articles, and blogs at the intersection of international education and impact evaluation. Many of these are featured on IIE’s research webpage. She is regularly quoted and cited in U.S. and international outlets, including The PIE News, Forbes, Washington Post, Inside Higher Education, and NPR Marketplace.

She serves on the Publications and Resources Committee for the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) and the Board of Trustees for AIFS International. In addition to AIEA, Dr. Martel is active in the Comparative International Education Society (CIES) and NAFSA: Association of International Educators. She is an Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins School of Education, teaching international education policy.

Dr. Martel holds a Doctor of Philosophy in International and Comparative Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and Masters in Philosophy and International Affairs from Columbia University.