Program Recruits Second Class to Build Pipeline of Diverse Leaders in Evaluation Field

Posted April 11, 2017, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Blog programrecruitssecondclass 2017

The Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion is recruit­ing the next cohort of Lead­ers in Equi­table Eval­u­a­tion and Diver­si­ty (LEEAD), an effort designed to expand the knowl­edge base in eval­u­a­tion and con­tribute to bet­ter sci­ence to influ­ence the life out­comes of chil­dren, fam­i­lies and communities.

Last year, LEEAD accept­ed 15 tal­ent­ed mid-career schol­ars from diverse racial and eth­nic back­grounds and research dis­ci­plines to address under­rep­re­sen­ta­tion at lead­er­ship lev­els of the field. This cohort of high­ly accom­plished researchers rep­re­sent­ed such fields as soci­ol­o­gy, pub­lic health, eco­nom­ics, psy­chol­o­gy and nursing.

LEEAD con­nect­ed schol­ars to men­tors with senior-lev­el exper­tise in eval­u­a­tion and helped them gain prac­ti­cal eval­u­a­tion expe­ri­ence through practicum place­ments. Eight orga­ni­za­tions host­ed a LEEAD schol­ar: Amer­i­can Insti­tutes for Research, Child Trends, Hard­er & Com­pa­ny, Math­e­mat­i­ca, ORS Impact, RAND Cor­po­ra­tion, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mem­phis and the Urban Insti­tute. The schol­ars exe­cut­ed dis­crete projects to apply their knowl­edge to a real-world set­ting and hone new skills in evaluation.

All 15 LEEAD schol­ars suc­cess­ful­ly com­plet­ed the pro­gram, which includ­ed cred­it-bear­ing course mod­ules from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wisconsin-Stout’s Eval­u­a­tion Cer­tifi­cate online pro­gram. That pro­gram applied a social jus­tice and racial equi­ty lens to the eval­u­a­tion coursework.

LEEAD is a pro­gram of the Expand­ing the Bench® ini­tia­tive led by Casey’s Research, Eval­u­a­tion, Evi­dence and Data (REED) unit, and it aims to increase the num­ber of his­tor­i­cal­ly under­rep­re­sent­ed racial and eth­nic minor­i­ty researchers in the eval­u­a­tion field.

Launched in ear­ly 2016, the LEEAD pro­gram pilot involved three essen­tial components:

  • Ongo­ing men­tor­ship from senior experts and peers in evaluation
  • Online-based eval­u­a­tion course­work, includ­ing a core pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment course
  • A res­i­den­cy at a research orga­ni­za­tion, think tank, foun­da­tion or pri­vate firm

Appli­ca­tions for the sec­ond LEEAD cohort are being accept­ed through April 14. Final selec­tions will be announced by June 30. The pro­gram starts in August, with the first in-per­son gath­er­ing tak­ing place in ear­ly Sep­tem­ber at the Casey Foun­da­tion’s offices in Bal­ti­more, Maryland.


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