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Membership Spotlight: Kathryn Newcomer

Thu, December 21, 2017 1:46 PM | Robin Kelley

    Can You Keep Up?                                     

If you know anything about the American Evaluation Association, you have heard of Dr. Kathryn Newcomer- the outgoing presiding officer of the organization. With 36 years at George Washington under her belt, she was the founding director and currently serves as director of the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration where she teaches public and nonprofit program evaluation and research design. She has been the director of all three of their degree programs at one time (MPA, MPP and PhD). She routinely conducts research and training for federal and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations on performance measurement and program evaluation, and has designed and conducted evaluations for many U.S. federal agencies and dozens of nonprofit organizations. With five books, numerous publications and several awards under this Fulbright Scholar’s belt, it is obvious that she has earned her keep. When asked how she began her love affair with evaluation, she describes how she kind of ‘fell into it.’ She states, “I fell into Program Evaluation accidentally as an adjunct who was to teach it a month before the semester started! So I went over to learn about it from my Mentor Joe Wholey.” She’s been all in ever since. 

Kathy decided to join WE in 1992 because she wanted to meet and learn from other evaluators. She states, "I have met many wonderful evaluators whomI admire and have learned much from. I am grateful for the volunteers who keep WE running and am extremely impressed at the le   vel which WE operates-it’s fantastic.”

Dr. Newcomer uses her evaluation skills in all aspects of her life.  Although she received a
BS and MA from the University of Kansas and a PhD from the University of Iowa, she encouraged all four of her children to create their own legacy and make George Washington their Alma Mater. She identified the 96% discount on tuition and scientifically concluded that was definitely the way to go. 

When Kathryn isn't busy working on her intellectual fitness and serving as the ‘mayor’ of the Trachtenberg School, you can catch her staying active and kicking butt.  She attends kickboxing, body combat or body pump classes daily. 

If you think you can keep up with Dr. Newcomer, you can reach her at

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