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2017 Speakers and Facilitators

Keynote Speaker

Michael Quinn Patton is former President of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) and author of eight major evaluation books including Utilization-Focused Evaluation (4th ed., 2008), Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods (4th ed., 2015), and Developmental Evaluation: Applying Systems Thinking and Complexity Concepts to Enhance Innovation and Use (2011). His books have been used in over 500 universities worldwide. He is recipient of both the Myrdal Award for Outstanding Contributions to Useful and Practical Evaluation Practice and the Lazarsfeld Award for Lifelong Contributions to Evaluation Theory from AEA. He regularly conducts training for The Evaluators’ Institute, the American Evaluation Association, and the International Program for Development Evaluation Training.  His latest books are Principles-Focused Evaluation (Guildford Press, 2017), Evaluation Facilitation: Principles in Practice (Sage Publications, 2017), and Blue Marble Evaluation for Global Systems Change (Stanford University Press. 2017).

Panel Speakers

Donna Mertens is Professor Emeritus at Gallaudet University with a specialization in research and evaluation methodologies designed to support social transformation. She has authored, co-authored, or edited over 16 books related to research and evaluation methods and human rights, including Mixed Methods Design in Evaluation (in press); Research and Evaluation in Education and Psychology: Integrating Diversity with Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods; Indigenous Pathways into Social Research; Program Evaluation Theory and Practice; and Transformative Research and Evaluation. She taught MA and PhD hearing and deaf students in education, psychology, social work, administration, and international development for 32 years. She has conducted professional development related to transformative mixed methods in many contexts, e.g., Chile, Guatemala, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Niger, Ghana, Brazil, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Mertens also served as the Editor for the Journal of Mixed Methods Research 2010-2014. She chaired the Mixed Methods International Research Associations' (MMIRA) task force on the future of mixed methods: challenges and opportunities 2015-2016.

Yvette Lamb, Ed.D, a Senior Fellow at ICF International, directs the research and
evaluation activities in the ICF Family Self Sufficiency group.  Dr. Lamb has a background in education and public health in both the evaluation research and practice aspects of both disciplines. She brings over 20 years of experience in evaluating and providing technical assistance to projects in education and health, human services and recently workforce development sectors. Her projects cross several disciplinary boundaries and typically engage a wide group of stakeholders including local service providers, community based organizations, workforce development, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)-based programs. Dr. Lamb focuses on utilizing developmental evaluation approaches that focus on strengthening the capacity of organizations to gather and utilize evidence informed and evidence based practices.
Dr. Lamb has worked with a variety of foundations and agencies implementing evaluations of grantee programs as well as working directly with grantees and nonprofit agencies on organizational development processes, evaluation and evaluation capacity building, and creating practices and frameworks for implementation. She has experience working with collaborative initiatives focused on improving outcomes for children and their families. For example, for Starting Points—Pittsburgh, a policy and advocacy collaboration targeting positive outcomes for children birth to five, comprised of the Carnegie Corporation, the Heinz Endowments, the Grable Foundation, the University of Pittsburgh, the Family Support Association and various public agencies, Dr. Lamb led the development of the logic model and learning framework. She was the Co-Project Director to the LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment (the Partnership), where ICF served as the external evaluation partner to develop an evaluation and learning framework for the organization as well as the Partnership's major initiative, the Baby Futures Fund. Other clients that Dr. Lamb has worked with include The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, The California Endowment, Kresge Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Blue Shield of California Foundation and the Atlantic Philanthropies. Dr. Lamb is a former Associate Dean at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health working there to establish strong ties between research and practice.

Kantahyanee W. Murray is a Senior Research Associate in the Research, Evaluation, Evidence and Data Unit of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.  In this role, she plans evaluations and commissions evaluation and policy research in the areas of Family Centered Community Change, Evidence-based Practice, and Child Welfare.  Kantahyanee also leads Expanding the Bench, a core initiative of the REED Unit’s Race Equity and Inclusion work.  Under her leadership, more than 500 underrepresented minority (URM) scholars have engaged in networking and professional development opportunities including an evaluation pipeline training program (Leaders in Equitable Evaluation and Diversity) and the Advancing Collaborative Evaluation (ACE) Network of qualified URM led evaluation firms and evaluators.


In previous work, Kantahyanee led a range of community-based, state and federally funded research and evaluation projects at the University of Maryland School of Social Work Ruth H. Young Center for Families and Children.  Her program of research focused on understanding the role of family and parents/caregivers in the promotion of child health and well-being, particularly among families of color living in urban areas.  In her current role, Kantahyanee facilitates community engagement in research and evaluation with a racial/ethnic equity and inclusion focus.  Kantahyanee’s research and evaluation values and interests are informed by her early career experiences assisting community-led strategic planning and neighborhood revitalization projects and cross-agency youth health and well-being.

Speed Networking Facilitators

Alejandra Garcia-Diaz Villamil of Vital Voices has over 10 years of research, evaluation, and monitoring experience within Latin America, Africa, and the United States. She led the program design and set up of M&E systems for programs over 30 M funded by USAID, DRL, State Dept, DFID, SIDA, and DANIDA to reduce poverty and increase women’s empowerment and political participation.  Alejandra designed and conducted gender-sensitive formative and summative evaluations using participatory methods. She has also authored curriculum and learning tools to gender mainstreaming M&E. Alejandra has a MA in Gender and Women Studies and MPA with a concentration on non-profit management.

Brooke McKie, Ph.D. is the owner and director of the Tête Group, LLC, a woman-owned consulting company in Washington, DC, specializing in program evaluation and educational research. Prior to starting her own business, Dr. McKie was senior program director at Howard University Center for Urban Progress and led a large-scale early childhood evaluation in DC for 9 years and prior to that position she was program director for the Howard University Evaluation Training Institute in the School of Education for 3 years. Dr. McKie earned a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and a M.A. in School Psychology from Howard University and a B.A. in Psychology from Syracuse University.

Helene Jennings of ICF International has worked as an evaluator in the DC area for thirty years. Currently a Senior Fellow providing leadership and technical direction at ICF International, she also worked at consulting firms Macro International and Westat.  Responsible for research and evaluation studies for a variety of organizations—federal agencies (Department of Education, Department of State, Corporation for National and Community Service), state/local agencies (Maryland, Texas, Mayor’s Office of New York), universities, foundations and nonprofits. Recent assignments involve international education programs, art and design in K-12 school, English language instruction for immigrants, and surveying parents about special education services. Degrees from Occidental College and Stanford University.

Dr. Joy Frechtling is a Vice President in Westat’s Education Studies Group. As a Vice President she manages a range of projects  and staff addressing issues related to education across the K-20 spectrum. Her areas of interest include STEM education, global digital exchanges, educational equity and institutional/systems change. She has worked in the federal government and local educational systems, as well as private industry. Dr. Frechtling has a PhD in Developmental Psychology.

Kimya Lee serves as the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) technical expert on research and evaluation to support data-driven human resource management and policy decision making.  One of her chief responsibilities is establishing the strategic direction for the Department’s research and evaluation initiatives, as informed by the analytic needs of the program offices. Kimya is a social science researcher with a strong background in project management, survey methodology, and statistical analysis.  She earned her Bachelors of Science degree from Seton Hall University and her Master's and Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Howard University.

Shena Ashley is director of the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute. Before joining Urban, Ashley was an assistant professor in the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Before that, Ashley was director of research and policy at the Annie E. Casey Foundation Atlanta Civic Site. She received her BS in agricultural business from Tennessee State University, MS in public policy from the University of Michigan, and PhD in public policy from Georgia State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Dr. Stephanie Shipman is an Assistant Director of the Center for Evaluation Methods and Issues at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), a congressional oversight agency. She directs studies of federal agencies' performance measurement and program evaluation activities, and methods for solving analytic challenges in program performance assessment. She consults with U.S. and foreign government agencies on program evaluation policies and practice, and currently serves on the American Evaluation Association’s Evaluation Policy Task Force. Dr. Shipman is also the coordinator for Federal Evaluators, an informal network of over 1500 evaluation officials.

Valerie Caracelli, Ph.D. is a Senior Social Science Analyst in the Center for Evaluation Methods and Issues at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Valerie assists in conducting congressionally requested studies and consults with GAO Teams on evaluation design issues. She has published in leading evaluation journals and has served on a variety of editorial review boards. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology in 1979 and her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University in 1988.

Stephen Porter is currently the Director for the Learning, Evaluation and Accountability Department at Oxfam America. Stephen has a range of experience in development practice, including academic, donor and experience applying a rights-based approach to evaluation.   He has also served as a monitoring, evaluation and learning advisor for the Regional AIDS Initiative of Southern Africa, and the African Medical and Research Foundation. He holds an MPhil in Public Policy from the University of Cape Town.  He has undertaken PhD research on a rights-based approach to development evaluation at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Stephen has had a number of journal and book chapters published on the topic of evaluation systems development.

Stacey Little has over 20 years of project development and leadership experience in private non-profit and community-based organizations, with focus on maternal and child health, STD/HIV prevention, family planning, and men's health.  Currently Dr. Little is the Acting Director of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau and the Director of the Office of Family and Community Health Services at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (MD DHMH). Prior to joining the MD DHMH, she was the Director of the Center on AIDS and Community Health at FHI 360 and served as a Principal Investigator (PI) for the Robert Wood Johnson Quality Assessment Research and Evaluation Project, Project Director of a CDC funded Capacity Building Assistance Cooperative Agreement to CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, and the Partnership Director for the NIH HIV Vaccine Research Education Initiative.  Dr. Little holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Social Work and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master's degree in Social Work from Howard University and a Bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Dr. David J. Bernstein of Washington Evaluators is a Senior Study Director at Westat, an employee-owned social science research consulting company based in Rockville, Maryland. Dr. Bernstein has over 30 years of professional experience in designing and conducting performance measurement systems, evaluation, strategic planning, and conducting mixed methods analysis. He is a frequent chair, panelist, and discussant at professional evaluation conferences and trainings including the American Evaluation Association (AEA) and the Eastern Evaluation Research Society (EERS) conferences. He is a nationally recognized expert on the relationship between performance measurement and evaluation, the role of sponsors and stakeholders in evaluation, and has been published in peer reviewed professional journals on these topics. Dr. Bernstein is an inaugural member of AEA, Past Chair of the AEA Government Evaluation Topical Interest Group (TIG), Nonprofit and Foundation TIG, and the Graduate Student and New Evaluator TIG. He has served on several AEA task forces and working groups, and is a past Chair of the AEA Conference Local Arrangements Working Group. Dr. Bernstein is the recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award from The George Washington University Trachtenberg School for Public Policy and Public Administration.

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