Welcoming new LEEAD Scholars to help strengthen diversity in the evaluation field

Building a more inclusive and equitable evaluation field is a long-term effort that calls for creating multiple entry points to working in the field. This year we are proud to host our second cohort of scholars from the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Leaders in Equitable Evaluation and Diversity (LEEAD) program. LEEAD aims to increase the evaluation field’s diversity by developing pipelines of leaders from communities that are underrepresented and who are committed to culturally responsive and equitable evaluation.

With each cohort, LEEAD partners with evaluation and research organizations like Harder+Company to engage LEEAD scholars as contributors to select evaluation projects.

In April, we welcomed three more LEEAD scholars as partners in our work. This year our LEEAD scholars are:

Felisa Gonzales, PhD, MPH, is a Research, Evaluation & Strategic Learning Manager at the Colorado Trust.  In 2013, Dr. Gonzales completed her PhD in Applied Social Psychology from George Washington University and has over 15 years of experience working to address health inequities with vulnerable and underserved communities. Dr. Gonzales is supporting our work with the Pew Charitable Trusts to assess the health equity impacts of the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) model.

Noe Chavez, PhD is a researcher at City of Hope where he supports research efforts for the Department of Population Sciences. In 2011, Dr. Chavez received his PhD in Community Psychology from University of Illinois at Chicago. As a Community Psychologist, his experience spans youth empowerment, health equity/justice, science education, health prevention/promotion, cultural humility, and community-based participatory research.  Dr. Chavez is supporting our work with YMCA of San Diego County to evaluate the Connections 2020 initiative.

Ndidi Amutah-Onukagha, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health at Montclair University. In 2010, Dr. Amutah-Onukagha completed her PhD in Public Health for University of Maryland College Park. She has more than 15 years of experience conducting health disparities work, with specialties in program development and evaluation, and mixed methods research.  Dr. Amutah-Onukagha is supporting our work with Groundwork USA to evaluate its work to transform the natural and built environment of low- and moderate-income communities in order to advance healthy equity.

These scholars will work with us for about six months, wrapping up their time with Harder+Company in October 2018. In addition to supporting evaluation firms via project work, these scholars are assigned an evaluation mentor and complete intensive online coursework to strengthen their consulting and culturally responsive evaluation skills. We are looking forward to building on our lessons from last year with this new group and contributing to the expanding network of culturally responsive and equity focused evaluators.