Kara Liebeskind, Ph.D.

Insights Sage

Philadelphia, PA

Kara is one of Smarty Pants most valuable assets. She is a true smarty pants with impressive academic pedigree (Dr. Kara, anyone?), deep child and family expertise, and substantive qualitative and quantitative research experience. This trifecta has provided  her with a unique perspective and ability to design rigorous research projects that function in and speak to the real world. ​

Since joining Smarty Pants in 2016, Kara’s knowledge of child development and passion for kids’ media and play have helped her curate a client roster comprised of several of the world’s most well-respected brands in the youth and family space. She thrives on creating innovative methods, especially when designing research with children, ensuring that approaches will answer a client’s key questions in the most effective and impactful way.

Kara also has a knack for connecting with and drawing rich insights from even the youngest participants. And, she’s able to overlay her developmental expertise to distill what it all means for her client’s business.

Kara co-leads one of Smarty Pants’ four business units. At the helm, and in everything she does, Kara is a meticulous researcher, leading and overseeing both primary and secondary research, in-person and online, pivoting and problem solving to ensure a seamless research experience. She is also a thoughtful and creative storyteller who serves up insights in ways that compel and inspire.  ​


Prior to joining Smarty Pants, Kara served as senior research manager at PlayScience, where she worked with a range of clients—from Sesame Workshop to the Girl Scouts to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Kara earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and English from Georgetown University and her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania.


Kara lives just outside of Philadelphia with her husband and two young children.​

Fun Facts

  • Loves crossword puzzles and is certain she would dominate on “Wheel of Fortune”​
  • Is an ardent defender of grammar, especially the Oxford comma, thanks to a life spent in Catholic school​
  • Is a Philadelphia sports fan and grapples constantly with all of the emotions that involves​