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

Scott Downes

Senior Consultant

Scott Downes manages the Center for Evaluation Innovation's multi-year project to share lessons learned across U.S. advocacy efforts funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies. He is founder and principal of Thomas LLC, an independent consulting venture that provides strategy development, project management, and strategic communications support for foundations, nonprofits, and other organizations. Scott has 15 years of extensive experience managing complex projects and campaigns in the nonprofit, public, and political sectors. 

Scott previously served as Senior Program Officer at The Colorado Trust, where he oversaw $20 million in grant programs primarily focused on health policy and advocacy, public engagement, and capacity building. Before that he was Communications Director for the Colorado Center on Law and Policy and Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, as well as in a number of key roles in local, state and national political campaigns, including with two governors, Congressional offices, and a national campaign committee.

Scott is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and currently lives in Denver, CO, where he also serves on the board of an early learning and enrichment organization, tends to two large yellow dogs, and occasionally wrenches at a local nonprofit bike shop.

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