ACE Evaluation Network Advisory Team Workgroup

Angelique Day, PhD, MSW • Associate Professor School of Social Work, University of Washington

I am an associate professor for the School of Social Work at the University of Washington. Her research expertise includes several types of culturally relevant methodologies including community-based participatory action research. Tribes I am currently working with include Eastern Band of Cherokee in North Carolina, Salt River Pima Maricopa Tribe of Arizona, two tribes in Washington State: Yakama Nation and Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, and the seven tribes that make up the Oklahoma Southern Plains Consortium. I have broad training and experience in the field of child welfare policy and practice, with particular emphasis on youth who are placed out of home, kinship care, and the Indian Child Welfare Act. Most recently, I was funded by the W.T. Grant Foundation under the Society for Research in Child Development to work as a congressional fellow in the Office of Congressman Danny K Davis, Ranking Member, Human Resources Subcommittee, Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives (2016-2017). In this capacity, I developed a series of federal bills, largely based on my own child welfare research. The first, a bill designed to address the impact of trauma in distressed communities, HR 1757, was introduced in congress on March 28, 2017. This bill has been subsequently signed into law under the larger Support for Patients and Communities Act (also known as the “opioid bill”). This bill has led to an increase in mental health services for states, counties, and tribes across America. Also related to this current study is a bill I am working on with Congresswoman Judy Chu’s office, the Strengthening Tribal Families Act of 2022, which increases funding for state-tribal partnerships in supporting American Indian children who are supervised by tribal and state child welfare agencies. In summary, my research interests, professional experiences, professional relationships at the federal and State levels make me a contributor to building new knowledge through the development of original research and its dissemination in the political arena.

Carlos Romero • President, Apex Evaluation

I founded Apex over 20 years ago and serve as chief evangelist for our approach to evaluation, which is rooted in systems thinking and learning. I have over 25 years of experience in program planning, evaluation, and facilitation. I hold a BS in Political Science and a Master’s in Business Administration. Our vision at Apex is simple, ambitious, and infinite: evaluation that works. Evaluation that works is a response to the myriad ways in which evaluation and data have not served the interests of organizations addressing wickedly complex issues or the vulnerable populations most impacted by their work. For this moment in time, I strive to make evaluation work better through a stronger, clearer, amplified mission of learning that: (a) promotes and facilitates thinking to initiate and inform the magnitude of innovation that is needed to break from the status quo; (b) stimulates and guides the rigorous and continuous learning from data to adapt and sustain meaningful and lasting change under dynamic, complex conditions; and (c) exposes and fights against bias and misuse of data that impedes progress toward a more equitable world.

Deepika Andavarapu • Founder and CEO, DEEP Consultants

Deepika Andavarapu, AICP, Ph.D., is the Founder and CEO of DEEP Consultants. Dr. Andavarapu, who uses she/her pronouns, is an urban planning scholar, community researcher, and evaluator working with government, nonprofits, and other philanthropic organizations. She is a strategic systems thinker designing long-term solutions with an emphasis on results and measuring impact. Deepika has over sixteen years of experience working with the public sector and philanthropy over many social justice issues. As a researcher, she has produced trailblazing scholarship related to social capital’s role in the resilience of disenfranchised communities such as slums. She is a published author, a public speaker and presented her research at a TEDx conference. Dr. Andavarapu is an intersectional scholarly practitioner who brings academic rigor and expertise to the nonprofit world.

Jessica Presley • Senior Director at the Office of Community Health and Research at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; Co-founder of Insight to Impact Consulting

Jessica is a Diné and Osage evaluator working to advance equity and justice. She seeks to understand the complex and historical contexts in which community programs are implemented by engaging, listening, and following those who are at the heart of the work. She takes a culturally responsive approach to center evaluation within the cultural context in which programs operate. She is an avid learner and enjoys challenging her thinking and the lens through which she sees the world. She is progressing in her doctoral studies in evaluation. She is also a mother of two, a partner in life, a business owner, and a leader of an evaluation team at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Michael Patrick Arnold, PhD, MPH, MSW • Director, Informing Change

For over 20 years, Dr. Michael Arnold has researched and evaluated efforts to reduce racial and intersectional disparities in health and wellbeing with a focus on systemic, organizational, and social equity. He is Co-Director of Informing Change, a strategic learning firm of diverse people united by the core belief that making meaning out of good data generates knowledge that can be used to accelerate progress toward equity. We combine the power of data with deliberate, inclusive meaning-making processes. An experienced consultant to large philanthropies and grassroots nonprofits alike, Michael is adept at tailoring projects to match client needs, supporting clients in growth and learning, and listening to and centering the voices of affected communities and individuals in projects. He holds a PhD, Master of Social Welfare, and a Master of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley. Michael’s recent clients include Youth Outside, the Marin Community Foundation, Frameline’s Youth in Motion, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, Girls Leadership, Oakland Leaf, School Linked Services of Santa Clara County, the James Irvine Foundation, the California Health Care Foundation, the California Wellness Foundation, Blue Shield Foundation of California, the Best Buy Foundation, and the Black Teacher Project.

Michelle Caryn Paul, PhD • Director, Human Capital, ICF

Dr. Paul offers over 20 years of experience leading the design/development, implementation, and evaluation of human capital systems in public, private and not-for-profit organizations. Her expertise includes organizational assessment, leadership development program evaluation, operational/business process redesign, change management, and training/meeting facilitation. Dr. Paul’s emphasis on climate and culture change and assessing the bottom-line impact of multiple human resource initiatives helps her clients improve individual, group, and organizational performance. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology (summa cum laude) from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Maryland College Park. Dr. Paul’s recent clients include the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. She is passionate about expanding access to innovative evaluation practices and multi-disciplinary approaches to evaluation to those who have been historically marginalized, and thus is honored to serve on the ETB Advisory Team.

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Nicole Clark, LMSW • Program Design, Research and Evaluation Consultant, Nicole Clark Consulting, LLC

Nicole Clark, LMSW (She/Her) is a licensed social worker and owner of Nicole Clark Consulting, where she partners with mission-aligned BIPOC-centered, women-led, and allied organizations whose work supports the lived experiences and advancement of women, girls, and gender-expansive youth of color. Nicole consults on a variety of topics including the Reproductive Justice framework, participatory research, program design, strategic planning, and culturally responsive and equitable evaluation. Nicole is based in Washington, DC.

Ryoko Yamaguchi, PhD • President at Plus Alpha Research & Consulting

Dr. Ryoko Yamaguchi has 30 years of experience in K-12 education as a practitioner and researcher. She specializes in utilizing, explaining, and communicating research, data, and the junction of policy, practice, and research, and she has taken part in multiple practitioner-researcher partnerships focused on equitable instructional practices to support underserved students, particularly youth. As a certified special education teacher (Learning Disabilities and Social/Emotional Disturbance), she taught middle and high school students in public school and psychiatric settings, including a juvenile detention facility for sex offenders, for five years. Dr. Yamaguchi is trained as a quantitative social scientist, and she has spent over 20 years researching how schools can better support students and serve as a protective factor in adolescent development. Her methodological expertise is in quantitative methods, including designing experimental and quasi-experimental studies for diverse settings, creating survey instruments, collecting quantitative data (e.g., surveys, administrative, and behavioral coding), and conducting data analyses–particularly various applications of hierarchical linear modeling (e.g., value-added models, growth curve analysis, hierarchical generalized linear models, multi-level power analysis). She is a certified What Works Clearinghouse reviewer and has trained with top scholars in methodology. She specializes in designing rigorous studies that can be successfully implemented with stakeholder buy-in in school settings. She is also certified in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), coupled with her special education training and experience in accessibility and inclusion. Dr. Yamaguchi has worked successfully to bridge the gap between practice, policy, and research and communicates to multiple education stakeholders. She is the author of Adaptive Implementation: Navigating the School Improvement Landscape (2017), a continuous improvement approach for educators to capture and learn from adaptations made in the field.

Previous Workgroup Members

Efraín Gutierrez

Head of Impact and Evaluation,
Obama Foundation

Hiba Rahim

Evaluation & Learning Officer,
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Osa Maiyanne Adaján, Ph.D.

Osa Maiyanne Adaján, PhD

Founding Vice President, Creative Research Solutions

Marcia Coné, PhD

Principal + Director of Practice Engagement and Evolution,
Marcia Coné Consulting/ Equitable Evaluation Initiative

Elizabeth Hutchinson Kruger

Evaluation Officer,
Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies

Nicole Bowman (Lunaape/Mohican), PhD

Associate Scientist and President,
University of WI Madison and Bowman Performance Consulting

Meet More Advisory Team Members

Expanding the Bench® (ETB) is part of a collaborative field-building movement and is informed by a diverse, multi-stakeholder team of thought partners from the evaluation ecosystem. This team offers strategic direction, feedback, and recommendations to guide the development and growth of ETB.

With decades of combined experience in their fields, ETB Advisory Team members help us better understand and address the needs of the broader community.

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