Who We Are
Our interdisciplinary team brings a diversity of skills and perspectives in order to best serve our partners.
We understand how challenging it is for nonprofits, schools and districts, funders, and policymakers to build and use evidence that is actionable and will result in more equitable outcomes. Our team is made up of experts in evaluation, data and technology, policy, philanthropy, finance and operations, communications, and nonprofit management with a shared goal of improving the ecosystem for evidence.
Anthony is a jack of all trades and a master of some, with a background in behavioral design, child welfare, public policy, and fine arts. As someone with personal experience of foster care, public housing, juvenile justice, and safety net programs, Anthony brings lived expertise to his systems change work in the nonprofit and public sectors. He spent almost 9 years at the applied behavioral science firm ideas42, where he led the economic-justice portfolio, and over 10 years in child welfare, spanning positions from direct service to system improvement. Anthony is a 2018 Aspen Institute Ascend Fellow, and holds an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School, where he was a Gleitsman Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership, an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, and a BA from UMass Boston.
Tamar is an attorney with expertise in harnessing policy strategies to improve outcomes for communities in need. She focuses on actionable innovation in public and private sectors, with demonstrated success in driving federal and state policy change. As Chief Policy Officer at Nurse-Family Partnership from 2006-2017, she helped secure $1.5 billion in federal funds to create the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program and mobilized $30 million in public and private funding to expand services for families in South Carolina’s Pay for Success initiative. Prior to NFP, Tamar helped launch the New York Academy of Medicine’s Child Health Forum and advanced policy work at the New York March of Dimes and American Academy of Pediatrics.
Zach brings significant experience in public policy research and analysis, especially around issues of evidence and equity. Prior to joining the Project Evident team, Zach worked for America Forward as a policy researcher on pay for success financing and evidence-based policy at the federal level. His background includes running operations on City Year cofounder Alan Khazei’s MA-04 congressional campaign and working for the Courageous Sailing Center, a nonprofit providing social and emotional learning opportunities to Boston public school students through the sport of sailing. Zach earned his BA in environmental studies concentrating in government with a focus on intersectional issues of equity from Hamilton College.
Ben is a systems leader focused on the intersection of technology, product, analytics, and the social sector. His primary focus is on enhancing the impact of health and human services systems, particularly those that support children, youth, and families. He has extensive experience advising across disciplines and sectors, working with clients to create programs and technology solutions. He has worked previously at Partners for Our Children, Accenture Consulting, and UC Berkeley. He holds an MSW and MPA from the University of Washington.
Jennifer Brooks is an independent consultant, providing advice and support to philanthropy, nonprofits, and governments. She specializes in the use of evaluation, metrics, and evidence-based practice to amplify the benefits of programs for children and families. Most recently, Dr. Brooks served as Senior Program Officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, helping to shape the foundation’s strategic investments in high quality public early learning programs. She received her Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State University and a MA in Public Policy from the University of Chicago.
Sarah Di Troia is an expert in crafting strategy and operations to drive high growth in nonprofit and for profit organizations. Her experience as an investor, advisor and leader fuels an approach that integrates market insights with the internal change management necessary to realize new opportunities. Sarah is known for teasing order out of the creative chaos of growth and innovation. Prior to joining Project Evident as a Senior Advisor, Sarah was Chief Operating Officer at Health Leads and a Managing Partner at New Profit, Inc. She earned her MBA from Harvard Business School.
Linh (Phoebe) Doan is committed to using data-driven practices to improve student outcomes. Phoebe completed her Ph.D. in Comparative International Education at Columbia University in 2021. At Columbia, she taught undergraduate and graduate-level courses in quantitative methodology, public opinions in education, sociology of education, and large-scale international assessments. Before joining Project Evident, Phoebe worked as a data analyst at the National Center for Education, Schools, and Teaching (NCREST) in New York where her projects focused on high school to college transition and education equity for low-income students in Michigan. Phoebe holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington in Seattle, master’s degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a PhD in Comparative Education from Columbia University.
Kelly is a committed social innovator. Previously she served as Vice President/Chief Program and Strategy Officer at the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation (EMCF) where she led policy innovation, evaluation, grantmaking and the early capital aggregation pilot. Prior to EMCF, she co-founded Leadwell Partners and New Profit Inc., and held senior leadership positions in nonprofit organizations, and served on several foundation and social sector boards and advisory committees. Kelly currently serves as a Leap Community Ambassador and is a member of Results for America’s Invest in What Works Federal Standard of Excellence Advisory Committee. A graduate of McGill University in Montreal, Fitzsimmons holds an MBA from Boston University.
Meron Fikru’s passion for criminal justice is evident in both her personal and professional experiences. She is an experienced social policy researcher who has worked across sectors, including intergovernmental, non-governmental, and nonprofit organizations. Prior to Project Evident, she worked with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, researching the intersections between public health and criminal justice policy. She also supported Harm Reduction International in a research project examining global policy and legislative responses to the COVID-19 crisis in prisons. Meron studied in the Netherlands and the UK where she specialized in criminal justice policy with a focus on drug policy. She received her MSc in Criminal Justice Policy from the London School of Economics and her BA in Law, Societies, and Justice from the University of Washington.
Molly has devoted her entire career to working towards health and educational equity for young people. She has twenty years of experience leading, designing, and managing education and youth development programs at several national nonprofit organizations, and is passionate about providing young people with the supportive relationships, skills, resources, and experiences they need to thrive. She is originally from the Boston area but has lived in the Bay Area for the last 10+ years. She received a BA in American Studies from Amherst College, and an MEd from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she was a Catherine B. Reynolds Fellow for Social Entrepreneurship.
Matt speaks the language of program implementation and program evaluation. He is an effective analyst and communicator who has experience assessing and implementing social sector interventions. Prior to joining Project Evident, Matt was an Analyst at Abt Associates where he specialized in analyses and primary data collection of extended learning time interventions in K-12 education. He earned an MPP from the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy and a BA in Economics from Bowdoin College.
Megan believes that everyone deserves access to the tools and resources needed to thrive, and she is eager to help schools better serve their students through evidence-based practices. Prior to joining Project Evident, Megan worked as the Food Service Administrator for a charter school district in Philadelphia. She is a passionate advocate for food justice and access, filling community fridges during her off-hours. She has earned a BA in Anthropology from Temple University and an MS in Education from the University of Pennsylvania where her Master’s paper profiled deficiencies in the physical infrastructures of schools and their impact on student performance and self-efficacy.
Joel is an independent consultant who helps her nonprofit clients advance their missions by connecting strategy, measurement, and resource development. Prior to launching her consulting practice in 2016, she worked in evaluation, grant writing, and foundation relations roles at the national education nonprofit Citizen Schools. She has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology & Anthropology from Carleton College and a master’s degree in Sociology & Social Policy from Harvard University.
Farhana brings expertise in qualitative and quantitative research, data visualization, information design, and communications. Previously, she served as a Research Associate for MDRC for 7 years, where she led mixed-method implementation research for the evaluations of youth and workforce development programs and developed communications strategies and products to educate public and private stakeholders about evidence-based policies and practices. Prior to MDRC, Farhana was a visual journalist for The Washington Post and The New York Times for more than a decade, where she oversaw the development of data visualizations to inform politics and policy coverage. Farhana holds an MPA in public and nonprofit management and policy from New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
MaShonna (Shonna) Hughes is an innovative and ambitious operations leader with extensive compliance and quality assurance experience in both state government and the social sector. She is a results-oriented executor and visionary who believes people thrive in a culture where they can contribute, belong, and form meaningful relationships. Her proven success at leading, researching, and taking initiative has provided business and operational success with a highly engaged workforce across all levels. These metrics have allowed for continuous quality improvement, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) outcomes so that organizations can be profitable, retain employees, and meet organizational goals. Shonna is the founder of restHERation design, which refurbishes, restores, and recreates yesterday’s furniture for today’s lifestyle. Each design is sculpted to create unique keepsake pieces and to demonstrate equality, representation, and self-expression. Shonna earned her BS in Sociology from the University of Virginia’s College at Wise.
Wayne is passionate about improving the social sector to ensure underserved communities have access to equal opportunities. Before joining Project Evident, Wayne taught elementary school for five years on both the West Side and South Side in Chicago. As a teacher, he established a career pathway program for middle school students that provided early instruction on alternative post-secondary academic and career pathways. Wayne also acted as coordinator and acting Associate Director of Project Evolve, a program within City Colleges of Chicago, where he managed grant funds to achieve the organization’s mission: increasing employment on the Southeast Side in Chicago. Wayne received his B.A. in Elementary Education from Ashford University and his Master in Higher Education Administration from Chicago State University.
Victoria is a results-oriented professional with over 20 years of senior executive experience building and leading high growth, innovative nonprofit organizations. She has demonstrated expertise in infrastructure building and system architecture, financial and operations management, strategic business planning, fiscal sustainability modeling, metrics design, workforce development, and performance management. Victoria previously served as Chief Financial Officer/ Managing Principal of Operations at Health Leads and Chief Operating Officer at Root Cause, where she oversaw the development of both strategic and tactical infrastructure. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and her Master’s in Business Administration from Northeastern University.
Betina is the founder and principal consultant of Arc of Evidence LLC, which works with social change agents to create, assess, and continuously improve interventions that promote equity and social justice. She was previously Senior Managing Director of Research and Evaluation at the Harlem Children’s Zone, where she built the organization’s noted culture of data and continuous program improvement. Over the years, she has led evaluations of many programs, and provided guidance to foundations, municipalities, federal agencies, and communities about policies and programs relating to health, place-based, and educational interventions. In line with her commitment to “ensure do-gooders actually do good,” she focuses on the importance of the continuous use of data and keeping practitioners and educators at the center of learning and decision making. She created a guidance document for President Obama’s poverty-fighting Promise Neighborhoods program to replicate the HCZ model. A first-generation immigrant and college student, Betina earned a B.A. in Psychology from Columbia and M.S., M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in Developmental Psychology from Yale.
Anne is an experienced communications and relationship manager who loves collaborating with others to create a positive impact in our local and global communities. Before joining Project Evident, Anne held multiple roles at Harvard Medical School (HMS) where she developed and executed meaningful engagement opportunities with HMS faculty and alumni. Anne owns a small but far-reaching yoga and meditation business in which she offers group and individual classes, teacher certifications, and international retreats. Anne has been featured on NECN and NBC for establishing a yoga program for Boston College’s Division I Football program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Psychology from Loyola College in Maryland and an MA in Visual Arts from Harvard Extension School where she wrote her thesis on the community impact of the federally funded mural project in Grove Hall, Boston.
Laura brings experience in communications and nonprofit fundraising. She began her career in Western New York where she managed press operations and community outreach for Erie County Legislator Patrick Burke on key issues including water quality, child safety, and workers’ rights. Laura then served as Campaign Manager for the Legislator’s run for New York State Assembly. She then joined the development team at Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners where was responsible for new lead cultivation and prospect research. Before coming to Project Evident, Laura worked for New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins where she prepared talking points and speech scripts, planned events, and managed social media. Laura holds a BA in Economics from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Christine thrives on working collaboratively to deliver innovative solutions to complex issues. An experienced finance and business operations manager with a versatile P&L skill set, Christine is adept at obtaining and allocating resources and establishing infrastructure to drive revenue growth, profitability, and operational efficiencies. Prior to joining Project Evident, Christine was the Finance and Business Operations Manager at Integral, where she played a key role in building the software consulting firm’s financial and operational infrastructure, overseeing their transition to remote work during the pandemic, and scaling their hiring reach from one state to 13. Christine holds a B.S. in international relations from Rochester Institute of Technology and an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Kaylan is a passionate educator who is devoted to ensuring that learners of all ages have access to high-quality educational experiences. Kaylan is skilled at conducting educational research for school districts, foundations, and nonprofit organizations. She has developed and delivered professional learning for hundreds of teachers and administrators across the country with companies such as Scholastic and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, as well as Harvard Graduate School of Education. Kaylan earned a B.A. in English from Spelman College, M.Ed. in Literacy from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Ph.D. in Language, Literacy, and Culture from the University of Pittsburgh.
Katy understands the importance of data-driven interventions and inclusive, collaborative research. She helps organizations get the most value out of their data and data systems, providing technical assistance on data tools and continuous learning. She has served as a trusted advisor and steadfast partner for nonprofit programs and data investigations for more than 10 years, previously at Susan G. Komen, where she held a number of roles including Senior Manager of Mission Operations, Global Programs Manager, and Grants Administrator for Research and Scientific Programs. Katy has also done research and program evaluation for nonprofits in Kampala, Uganda; Kolkata, India; and five cities across China. Katy earned a BA in Chinese Language and Literature from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, and a Master’s in Public Administration with a focus on international development and nonprofit evaluations from the University of Washington.
Emily is passionate about serving communities through access to quality resources, education, and opportunity. Combining her experience as a public educator and an ecological researcher, she believes in enabling organizations to serve their populations in an ever-changing world. Prior to joining Project Evident, Emily was a middle school science teacher. A life-long advocate for education, Emily has applied her love for science and community through her work in Armenia with Armenia Tree Project. Emily earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Ariel brings a diverse background in administration and operations in a variety of organizations that include state government, tribal government, nonprofit, higher education, and small/medium size companies. He is the founder of O3 Consulting Group, which provides an array of services that include business administration/operations, organizational strategic planning, performance and talent management, and quality assurance & quality improvement practices. The consulting group focuses on providing small/medium sized historically underrepresented owners the opportunity to receive support to help their businesses thrive and grow in their respective industries. Ariel will ensure the successful launch and early growth of the Equitable Recovery Wallet, building an effective coalition of technical assistance (TA) partners, advancing data and learning strategies, and ensuring an excellent experience for practitioners. Ariel earned his Master of Business Administration from National University, a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Florida International University and a dual Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from the University of Florida.
Michelle has led multiple federally funded projects evaluating the effectiveness of interventions for young adults with mental health conditions in work and school, and has extensive consulting experience in design, implementation, and evaluation of community-based programs. She applies her formal training in implementation science and participatory action research to how she engages in partnerships. Michelle’s areas of expertise are mental health, young adult services, career development, and postsecondary education and training. She has worked for the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Counseling Professions at Rutgers University. Michelle received her master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling with a specialization in Psychiatric Rehabilitation from Boston University and is completing her PhD in Social Welfare from the University of Pennsylvania.
Joseph is passionate about using data analysis for improving student outcomes and ensuring that everyone has equitable access to education. As an undergraduate, he wrote his senior thesis on matriculation decisions for minority students, focusing on low-income and first-generation college students. Prior to joining Project Evident, Joseph was a graduate student and a teaching assistant where he taught students ranging from high school students to mid-career professionals in courses such as data analytics, cost benefit analysis, and program evaluation. Joseph earned a BA in economics and statistics from Carleton College and an MPP from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy concentrating in policy analysis.
Ahmad is looking forward to applying his background in business in service of practitioners working to improve outcomes for underrepresented communities. Ahmad brings a wide array of experience from both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. His areas of experience include: an extensive thesis-based mentorship focused on financial analysis, as well as experience in procurement and sourcing. Before joining Project Evident, Ahmad worked as quality assurance manager for the Salvation Army in their Community Integration Services department. During this time, he innovated data management processes, devised and executed auditing procedures to ensure program compliance, supervised check request approval process, and performed monthly and quarterly reporting to internal and external stakeholders. Ahmad holds a BA in Finance from Endicott College.
Naima brings expertise in education and analytics. She has a deep interest in using quantitative and qualitative analyses to improve education policies and programs. Before coming to Project Evident, Naima worked at The Opportunity Network, a college and career success program for low-income youth of color. She understands the power that programs and policies have in helping communities thrive, and is excited to continue working alongside nonprofits to develop impactful solutions. Naima holds an MA in Education Policy from Columbia University, and a BA in English from Wellesley College.
Gabriel brings great energy to the challenge of building evidence, improving programs, and enhancing community outcomes. For nearly two decades he has approached this work from the various perspectives of funder, evaluator, and nonprofit service provider at organizations such as Friends of the Children and Public/Private Ventures. Shaped by his background as an Ombudsman and a court mediator, his work relies on careful communication to facilitate understanding across audiences and drive action. Prior to joining Project Evident, Gabriel was Director of Evaluation and Learning for the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation. Gabriel is also the co-founder of the Emmy-nominated immersive film collective BBQ Films. He earned his MBA from Columbia University, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago.
John brings over 15 years of financial leadership in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. His specific areas of expertise are in developing financial and operational analysis, building financial literacy within organizations, continuous process improvement methodology, multiyear forecasting, and strategic planning. His industry experience includes higher education, healthcare, performing arts, lending, and public accounting. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance and History from Boston College and an MBA from Bentley University.
Ratna is passionate about bringing a systems change lens to social problems. Her 8-year career has spanned research, consulting, and coaching for mission driven organizations across India and the U.S. As Project Manager for a scale state incubation program from 2014-2017, she designed and executed organizational capacity building programs that enabled social enterprises to advance to their next level of growth and impact. Ratna earned her Master of Public Policy degree from UC Berkeley and is interested in innovation and change management, workforce empowerment, sustainable economic models, and wildlife conservation.
Dustin is committed to amplifying stories and strategies that create positive social change. Prior to joining Project Evident, Dustin spent seven years at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, where he developed thought leadership materials and donor resources, managed the organization’s external communications and partnered with a wide range of funders and social entrepreneurs on building a global culture of effective giving. Dustin has a BA in International Relations from Brown University.
Mariko has spent her career helping mission-driven organizations use communications to amplify impact. She was formerly Director of Communications & Partnerships at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and previously managed communications at impact investment pioneer Acumen. She started her career in financial services, developing philanthropic and educational programs for high-net-worth individuals (with a brief stint as an English-language reporter for Japanese television). She serves on the board of Nonprofit New York. Mariko has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.
Dhyia joins Project Evident with more than 15 years of experience in strategy, social impact, and education. She has effectively led high stakes, multi-stakeholder, million-dollar initiatives in the education, mission-driven, public, and private sectors with a focus on strategy and growth. Previously, Dhyia served in multiple roles at City Colleges of Chicago, most recently as Executive Director of Workforce Equity, where she managed a $3M grant to address workforce inequities on Chicago’s Southside. She serves as the Vice Chair of the Gender Equity Advisory Committee for the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). Dhyia holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, an MEd in Higher Education Administration from Loyola University Chicago, and an MEd in Education Leadership from the Broad Center.
Bi is an experienced education policy professional who is committed to a practical approach to building evidence and improving outcomes and opportunities for students. She is the author of “Strategic Budgeting: Using Evidence to Mitigate the ‘COVID Slide’ and Move Toward Improvement” (2020), a contributor to Opportunity and Performance: Equity for Children from Poverty (2021), and one of the leaders featured in Taking Charge of Change (2021) by Paul Shoemaker. Before joining Project Evident, Bi was the Director of Proving Ground at the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University where she worked with states and districts across the country to implement a continuous improvement framework built on meaningful, measurable outcomes. She also launched the National Center for Rural Education Research Networks, bringing evidence-building capacity to districts in rural NY and OH. Prior to Proving Ground, Bi served as the Deputy Chief Financial Officer at the School District of Philadelphia; she has also held positions at the Data Quality Campaign and EducationCounsel, LLC. Bi currently serves on the board of the Academic Development Institute. A graduate of Kenyon College, Bi also holds an MPA from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.