AEA's Annual Conference brings together evaluators from around the country and around the world for professional sharing. Each year, the presiding AEA President, or - in the case of cosponsored conferences, a program team - identifies a theme for the conference plenaries and highlight strand woven throughout the event.
We anticipate that more than 3,000 colleagues will gather for a week of learning, collaboration, and connection, and hope that you will be among those in attendance.
From Learning to Action
During Evaluation 2017, we will explore four ways that our community can learn from evaluation to create better practices and outcomes. Evaluation is dependent on learning from each other and putting theory into action. Each learning opportunity presents unique challenges and together, as a community, I would like to answer the questions that will allow us to move beyond these challenges to find solutions to improve our programs and create greater good for society as a whole.
The American Evaluation Association welcomes exhibitors and sponsors to Evaluation 2017. Exhibitors and sponsors provide a vital service in helping conference attendees learn about evaluation-related products and services. In return, Evaluation 2017 will offer a unique opportunity to share your products or services with over 3000 evaluators from the United States and around the world. In 2013 we had over 4000 evaluators in attendance.
Exhibiting at Evaluation 2017 is an affordable way to connect with conference attendees active in the field of evaluation.
The American Evaluation Association is an international professional association of evaluators devoted to the application and exploration of program evaluation, personnel evaluation, technology, and many other forms of evaluation. Evaluation involves assessing the strengths and weaknesses of programs, policies, personnel, products, and organizations to improve their effectiveness. AEA has approximately 7700 members representing all 50 states in the United States as well as over 60 foreign countries.
The current president of the American Evaluation Association will draw upon her three decades of experience studying evaluation and measurement in the U.S. federal government to describe what she believes are imposing challenges to learning from evaluation within the public and nonprofit sectors. She will also talk about what we have learned that we can use to address persisting obstacles, including addressing organizational cultures, expectations and incentives in order for us to promote and use evaluation to strengthen effective and humane organizations that contribute to the enhancement of the public good.
Kathryn Newcomer, PhD is the Director of the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at the George Washington University where she teaches graduate level courses on public and nonprofit program evaluation, and research design. She is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, and currently serves on the Comptroller General’s Educators’ Advisory Panel. She served as an elected member of the Board of Directors of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) (2012-2015), and began service as AEA president on January 1, 2017. 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.
Dr. Newcomer has published five books, including The Handbook of Practical Program Evaluation (4th edition 2015) and Transformational Leadership: Leading Change in Public and Nonprofit Agencies (June 2008), and edited a volume of New Directions for Public Program Evaluation, Using Performance Measurement to Improve Public and Nonprofit Programs (1997). She has also published over 60 articles in journals including the Public Administration Review and the American Journal of Evaluation. She served as President of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) for 2006-2007. She has received two Fulbright awards, one for Taiwan (1993) and one for Egypt (2001-04). She has lectured on performance measurement and program evaluation in Ukraine, China, Australia, Brazil, Italy, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Poland, Costa Rica, Egypt, Taiwan, Colombia, Honduras, Canada, Nicaragua, and the UK.
With the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, AEA has hosted a series of Dialogues, the purpose of which has been to illuminate the complex issues of race and class within institutional structures and social patterns that allow negative effects to remain, while few condone the practices and outcomes we observe.
Today’s discussion of program evaluation and its role in supporting societal learning is focused on what program evaluators must know about race and class in America, if their professional practice is to fulfill the mandate of assisting society in learning about itself. The problem which prompts this action is persistent, deeply rooted, and structurally intertwined racial, ethnic, and class disparities in our society. These disparities arise from both historical and ongoing systemic racism (structural and personal biases against racial, ethnic, and class minorities in our society). Despite commentary about how racism has changed over the past 50 years, examining whether the problem has gotten “better,” there can be no real argument disputing that daily events and surveys have made clear the need to do more, and to find ways to do it now. How is it that a society which claims to abhor racial discrimination and hatred, witnesses so much of it on a regular basis? How can a society that espouses the notion that all are created equal, condone, and amplify the greatest levels of inequality found in the developed world? What is it that society must learn about itself to fully grasp these issues, and can program evaluation truly assist? This plenary session is built upon a year-long demonstration project that has explored how program evaluation and the evaluators who helm its work, can be meaningfully involved in a large-scale learning to action project around the realities of race and class in America.
Melvin Hall, PhD, is Professor of Educational Psychology at Northern Arizona University. Dr. Hall completed his B.S., and PhD, degrees at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in Social Psychology and Educational Psychology respectively; and M.S. in Counseling at Northern Illinois University.
During a forty plus-year professional career in higher education, Dr. Hall has served in four successive appointments, as an academic dean, comprised of positions at Florida Atlantic University, University of California-Irvine, University of Maryland at College Park, and most recently Northern Arizona University (NAU). At NAU, Dr. Hall served as Dean of the College of Education and additionally was the principal investigator on two five-year US Office of Education GEAR UP grants providing dropout prevention programs and services to thousands of middle and high school students throughout Arizona.
Returning to full-time faculty life in 2002, Dr. Hall has melded teaching and scholarship in Educational Psychology with responsibility as co-principal investigator on five-years of National Science Foundation support for the Relevance of Culture in Evaluation Institute. Subsequent to the RCEI grant, Dr. Hall began a continuing appointment as affiliated faculty in the Center for Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) at the University of Illinois. As an external reviewer, Dr. Hall has served on numerous review panels and Committee of Visitors for the National Science Foundation EHR Division including an invited expert panel on the future of evaluation methodology in STEM programs. In 2015, he accepted an appointment as an intermittent expert at NSF and in that, capacity serves as a program officer for the ADVANCE and HBCU UP Programs within the Human Resource Development Division of the EHR Directorate. He currently serves on the External Advisory committee for the NSF-funded Collaborative for the Advancement of STEM Leadership (CASL).
For several years, Dr. Hall served on the American Evaluation Association (AEA) Standing Committee on Diversity, initiating the association’s published statement on the importance of Cultural Competence in the field of Program Evaluation. In 2013, Dr. Hall became an elected member of the AEA Board of Directors. In addition, he has been appointed as a Senior Scholar by the Association of American Colleges and Universities where he also serves as a member of the Inclusive Excellence Commission of AAC&U.