Paul Harder

Chief Executive Officer

As Harder+Company’s founder and Chief Executive Officer, Paul provides leadership on the firm’s overall vision, culture, practice, and finances. He works in collaboration with our leadership team to establish and pursue the firm’s long-range strategies for helping our clients achieve their greatest possible impact.  Paul also leads engagements with clients across the nation on a wide variety of issue areas.

With more than 30 years of experience, Paul is a nationally recognized expert in applied social research. He has devoted his career to working with—and across—nonprofits, public agencies, and foundations to improve decision-making, strengthen services, transform systems, and inform policy development. Paul’s wide ranging interests are reflected in the diverse fields and organizations Harder+Company serves.  He is particularly passionate about helping organizations design programs, initiatives, and policies through processes that are data driven and include community voice. He is committed to working with clients in ways that create stronger, more strategic leaders and organizations. An experienced teacher and trainer, Paul has taught courses on evaluation methods, organizational development, and community engagement at the University of California, Davis, the University of San Francisco, and American University.

When Paul founded Harder+Company in 1986, his vision was to combine a rigorous approach to research with expertise in organizational management and strategy. Building on his diverse experiences working with The Urban Institute, The Lewin Group, Polaris Research and Development, and the Illinois Department of Mental Health, Paul was already deeply committed to using community-oriented methods to make research and evaluation more accessible. Today, his original vision continues to guide the advancement of Harder+Company and its clients. After many years of living in Northern California, Paul and family recently moved to Los Angeles where they love the culture, diversity and cuisine of their new home.

  • Bachelor of Arts, Social Psychology, University of Chicago
  • Master of Arts, Social Service Administration, University of Chicago, concentration in planning and evaluation
  • Master of Business Administration, Public and Nonprofit Management, University of Chicago
Areas of Expertise
  • Arts + Culture
  • Children, Youth + Families
  • Health