Jane Palmer is the Director of the Community-Based Research Scholars program and the Community-Based Research certificate program at American University. She is also a professorial lecturer in the Department of Public Administration & Policy in the School of Public Affairs.

She received a Ph.D. in Justice, Law & Society from American University, an M.S.W. from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois-Chicago and a B.A. in Sociology from Smith College.

Before coming to AU, she was the executive director of a domestic violence agency in St. Louis. She worked for more than a decade in community-based organizations in urban, low-income communities as an advocate, youth program manager and social worker for children and families.