About the Program
LEEAD is an evaluation training program designed to develop a pathway for diverse leaders in culturally responsive and equitable evaluation (CREE) who will advance the field of evaluation. Since the Program began in the fall of 2015, 35 Scholars have completed the LEEAD Program.
LEEAD welcomes the applications of accomplished, mid-career scholars from diverse and historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups who aspire to become leaders in the field of evaluation. Applicants must be able to commit to a rigorous 12-14 month training program to develop their evaluation competencies through the following components:
- Online curriculum (fall) – This includes completion of evaluation coursework administered through American University. The coursework covers evaluation content focused on CREE. The courses include a mix of didactic learning and social learning supports, such as online discussions, activities, and assessments.
- Practicum (spring/summer) – After completion of the online curriculum, Scholars have the opportunity to apply new knowledge in working with a practicum site on an evaluation project. Practicum Sites are evaluation firms, think tanks, universities, or non-profit agencies with an interest in integrating a CREE approach into an existing evaluation project. Several Practicum Sites have included former LEEAD Scholars and ACE Evaluation Network Members.
- Mentoring (throughout year) – At the beginning of the Program, LEEAD Scholars are matched using an assessment to pair Scholars with a mentor, an evaluation expert who serves as a mentor throughout the Program. LEEAD Mentors reinforce content learned through the online curriculum, and bolster networking skills and connections, and advise scholars in professional matters. Several ACE Evaluation Network Members have served as LEEAD Mentors.
Evaluation of LEEAD
The first two LEEAD cohorts have been evaluated using a mixed-method approach, to understand the Program’s implementation and early outcomes. For many Scholars, LEEAD has helped to create pathways to advancing in their careers, provided professional development as an evaluator, and increased visibility for collaboration on evaluation projects. LEEAD Scholars are already adding to the diversity in the field of research and evaluation and improving the knowledge base to make for better science and social innovation.