2018 Board of Directors & Leadership
The Washington Evaluators is managed by a Board of Directors as well as dozens of volunteers. Five voting Board positions are elected (unless filled by appointment due to vacancy) and three other voting Board positions are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Board. The 2018 Board members, as well as other Washington Evaluators leaders and volunteers, are listed below.
Elected Board Members
Stephanie Cabell, President (2018)
U.S. Department of State
Stephanie Cabell has served as the staff lead for evaluation in the Bureau of Budget and Planning at the US Department of State since November 2006. Previously, she served for 17 years as a performance specialist at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. She was hired by the State Department in 2006 to help grow the Department’s then nascent efforts to implement programmatic evaluations as a performance management tool and as a vehicle to learn what’s working and not working in foreign affairs programming. She was part of a team that drafted a Department-wide evaluation policy that was socialized among the Department’s 40+ bureaus and offices and eventually signed by the Deputy Secretary of State in February 2012. She has served as the staff lead to organize the Department of State annual Evaluation Institute (conference) since 2009, the mission of which is to highlight effective practices and methods in foreign affairs evaluations and to be a forum to address enduring topics, such as how to evaluate “diplomacy” or how to implement frameworks for evidence-based budgeting and decision-making.
President-Elect (2019 President)
U.S. Department of State
Giovanni Dazzo serves as an evaluation specialist with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL), where he advises staff and grantees on program design and evaluation principles. Prior to joining DRL, he worked with Freedom House’s global rapid response funds, where he established systems to evaluate emergency financial assistance and urgent advocacy support for at-risk human rights activists. Before moving to Washington, DC, Giovanni worked in Italy and Cambodia, conducting applied research and program and policy evaluations for the European Commission, United Nations agencies, USAID and other bilateral donors, and international development banks. Giovanni is currently a doctoral student at George Mason University's College of Education and Human Development, specializing in research methodology. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and a master’s degree from Bocconi University’s School of Management in Milan. He has also served as an adjunct lecturer at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, teaching a graduate-level course on the evaluation of foreign assistance programs.
Nick Hart, Ph.D., Past President (2017 President)
Bipartisan Policy Center
Dr. Nick Hart is the Director of the Evidence-Based Policymaking Initiative at the Bipartisan Policy Center. Prior to joining BPC he was the Policy and Research Director for the U.S. Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking. He previously worked as a Senior Program Examiner with the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, focused on Social Security and Federal anti-poverty programs. During his professional career he has served in positions at all levels of government -- Federal, state, and local -- and worked on a wide range of issues including environmental, energy, welfare, disability, economic development, and criminal justice policies. He completed a doctorate at The George Washington University's Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, with emphasis in program evaluation. He holds a Masters of Science in Environmental Science and a Masters of Public Affairs from Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and a Bachelor of Science from Truman State University. Dr. Hart also chairs the American Evaluation Association's Evaluation Policy Task Force and serves on the Board of the Eastern Evaluation Research Society.
Martha Ann Carey, Ph.D., R.N., Treasurer (2017-2018)
Dr. Martha Ann Carey is a social psychologist and registered nurse whose experience developing, implementing, and evaluating social science research was gained through working with agencies of the U.S. government, including the Government Accountability Office, the National Institutes of Health (the National Institute of Nursing Research, and the National Institute of Mental Health), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. She has overseen the development of support for and the progress of research programs, as well as the reviews of thousands of grant applications. She taught research design and qualitative methods courses in doctoral education and nursing programs. International work includes invited plenary and panel presentations and qualitative research workshops in Mexico, Thailand, South Korea, England, Australia, Italy, Spain, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Canada. Dr. Carey is the senior author of the book, Focus Group Research, which is based, in part, on work with adolescents, minority community health workers, methadone clinic clients in the South Bronx of New York City, a corporate training program evaluation, elders in social housing, and HIV patients in an early study in the US military. She continues to work with nonprofit organizations and mentors researchers through her work with Kells Consulting, a services research and training firm in Pennsylvania.
Kevin Jones, Secretary (2018-2019)
Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services
Kevin Jones serves as Executive Director of UCHAPS, a national coalition of health department and community members committed to improving public health and reducing HIV infections through collaboration based on key targets in the US National HIV/AIDS Strategy. His extensive work in public health encompasses health advocacy, academic and community research, performance measurement and evaluation, and nonprofit executive leadership. For 15 years, he has worked to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations to use data and participatory community engagement and involvement to improve practices and inform strategies. Prior to joining UCHAPS, Kevin served in leadership roles at the D.C. Promise Neighborhood Initiative, Metro TeenAIDS and the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. Kevin is from Detroit, Michigan. He is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan and received master's degrees from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and the University of Pennsylvania.
Appointed Board Members
Patricia Moore Shaffer, Ph.D., Communications Committee Chair
National Endowment for the Arts
Dr. Patricia More Shaffer is the deputy director for research & analysis at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and serves as agency lead for evaluation and performance measurement. She also holds responsibility for coordinating the agency’s strategic planning process. Prior to joining the NEA, Patricia served as the evaluation manager for NASA’s Office of Education and as vice president for research & development at the Educational Policy Institute. Patricia also owns a small evaluation firm that specializes in educational evaluation studies and evaluation capacity-building. As a federal evaluator and as an independent consultant, she has led a wide range of educational and arts program evaluations, ranging from national evaluation studies conducted for federal agencies including the Library of Congress and NASA to smaller-scale research and evaluation studies for state agencies, school districts, and nonprofit organizations. She also serves as treasurer for the Consortium for Research on Educational Assessment and Teaching Effectiveness. Patricia earned a Ph.D. in Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership at the College of William & Mary, a M.A. in Curriculum Studies at the University of Toronto, and also holds a bachelors degree in the visual arts.
Akashi Kaul, Program Committee Chair
Akashi Kaul is currently a Ph.D. student in the Education Policy program at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. Her research interests include evaluation methodology in the international development context, participatory methods in evaluation and development, application of a critical theory lens towards development and issues of systemic oppression, including but not limited to, race and gender. Her dissertation explores the role and meaning of voice, agency and power in participatory evaluation processes in East Africa. Akashi is co-editor (with R. Hopson & W. Rodick) of New Directions in Educational Ethnography (Emerald, 2016). She continues to be on the student editorial board for the same and has presented papers at the annual conferences of the American Evaluation Association, Comparative International Education Society, Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment and American Educational Research Association. Prior to enrolling in the PhD program, Akashi worked with the Azim Premji Foundation in India as a Communications and Advocacy specialist, overlooking the evaluation of their flagship teacher education program. She has also worked with after school programs in West Philadelphia in her role as a Wharton Social Impact Intern. Akashi also serves on the planning committee for the first D.C. Consortium conference on evaluation and is the secretary of the Multiethnic Issues in Evaluation topical interest group under the American Evaluation Association. Akashi holds a M.S.Ed in International Educational Development from the University of Pennsylvania and a M.A. in Mass Communication from the Symbiosis International University.
Curt Mueller, Membership Committee Chair
Curt Mueller recently retired from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), where he served as the Director of Research and Evaluation. His responsibilities included directing the Policy and Research Division, and advising Senior Leadership on rural health policy. Curt also directed the Division of Research on Traditional Medicare, Research and Evaluation Group, at CMS’s Innovation Center; responsibilities included directing evaluations of Innovation Center and other demonstrations and policy relevant research. Prior to returning to government, Curt directed the FORHP-funded Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis at Project HOPE and subsequently at NORC; served as an economist with the Physician Payment Review Commission; and taught statistics and health policy in the Department of Public Administration, The Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
Task Force and Working Group Chairs
Donna Mertens, Ph.D., International Representative
Dr. Donna M Mertens is Professor Emeritus at Gallaudet University, a university with a mission to serve Deaf and hard of hearing students. Mertens developed the transformative approach to evaluation as a response to concerns raised by members of marginalized communities about the harm done when evaluations are designed without considering issues of discrimination and social justice. Mertens published Mixed Methods Design in Evaluation (2018) with Sage and Program Evaluation Theory and Practice (2012) with Guilford Press. She served as the editor of the Journal of Mixed Methods Research for 5 years and chaired the Mixed Methods International Research Association’s task force on the future of mixed methods: challenges and opportunities 2015-2016. She is an active evaluator and currently engaged in the enterprise across a variety of settings. She held long-term leadership positions in AEA, including the presidential position 1997-1999 and the Board 2000-2002.
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