Our staffing is intentionally lean. We collaborate with others working in our fields of interest. Our partners include evaluators, practitioners, and funders in the U.S. and around the world.

Julia Coffman

Julia Coffman


Julia Coffman founded the Center for Evaluation Innovation. She has more than 20 years of experience as an evaluator, and now specializes in the evaluation of advocacy, public policy, and systems change efforts.

For 15 years Julia worked with the Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP), a research and evaluation organization at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Julia led HFRP’s evaluation work for over a decade, which included evaluating foundation and nonprofit initiatives and publishing The Evaluation Exchange, a nationally renowned periodical on emerging evaluation strategies and issues.

Julia frequently writes and speaks about evaluation. She is the founder and former co-chair of the American Evaluation Association’s Advocacy and Policy Change Topical Interest Group. Julia received her graduate degree in justice studies from Arizona State University and her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Tanya Beer

Tanya Beer

Associate Director

Tanya Beer is Associate Director of the Center for Evaluation Innovation, where she helps to lead the Center’s work, with a particular focus in the areas of systems change and advocacy evaluation.

Tanya has a broad range of evaluation experience in the philanthropic, nonprofit, and public sectors. Prior to joining the Center, she was Assistant Director of Research, Evaluation, and Strategic Learning at The Colorado Trust, a private foundation focused on improving the health and well being of all Coloradans. While there, she developed and managed Trust-funded evaluations, facilitated the application of evaluation and research data to decision making, and supported knowledge sharing and learning within the foundation and with external audiences. Before joining The Colorado Trust, Tanya was a Senior Legislative Performance Auditor for the Colorado Office of the State Auditor.

Tanya holds graduate degrees in public administration and international relations from Syracuse University, and an undergraduate degree in English and communication studies from Drake University in Iowa.

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Scott Downes

Kat Athanasiades

Senior Associate

Kat Athanasiades is Senior Associate at the Center for Evaluation Innovation, where she provides leadership and support to the Center’s work. She brings skills in advocacy evaluation, network and systems evaluation, and evaluation capacity building.

Prior to joining the Center, Kat was a senior team member at Innovation Network, a nonprofit evaluation consulting firm that supports the evaluation needs of foundations and nonprofits. For five years, she led, wrote, and presented on evaluation and research engagements such as coalition and network assessmentimmigration reform, and the state of nonprofit evaluation in the US. Before coming to Innovation Network, Kat was part of the impact assessment unit at the Ford Foundation, where she supported their evaluation and continuous learning programs.

Kat holds a graduate degree in international affairs from Columbia University and an undergraduate degree in sociology and anthropology from Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, PA.

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