About Us

  • Julia Coffman (she/hers) is co-Executive Director of the Center for Evaluation Innovation and founded the organization in 2009. For 25 years she has worked with foundations on their approaches to evaluation. Julia leads the organization’s evaluation work and has particular expertise in evaluating advocacy and policy efforts, emphasizing real-time learning that helps organizations to adapt their strategies and continuously improve. For 15 years prior to founding CEI, she led evaluation efforts at the Harvard Family Research Project, a research and evaluation organization at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Julia has a graduate degree in justice studies from Arizona State University and an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Dr. Chera Reid (she/hers) is co-Executive Director of the Center for Evaluation Innovation. She is the chief designer, organizer, and champion of CEI’s Evaluation Roundtable, a philanthropic learning and evaluation platform that moves in service of racial equity and justice. Chera came to CEI after serving as Director of Strategic Learning, Research, and Evaluation at the Kresge Foundation, where she guided one of the nation’s largest private foundations to become an intentional learning organization rooted in values of equity and opportunity. She also co-led foundation-wide efforts to raise consciousness about race and the impact of structural racism as the foundation made a comprehensive commitment to advancing equity. Before joining Kresge, Chera worked at MDRC, where she focused on ensuring that all students have access to quality public education and can pursue a college education that matches their needs regardless of their family income. She has held leadership positions at New York Needs You and the Phillips Academy Andover Institute for Recruitment of Teachers, programs that expand educational and career opportunities for first-generation, low-income, and students of color. Chera earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Virginia, a master’s degree from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. from New York University.

  • Kat Athanasiades (she/hers) is Senior Associate at the Center for Evaluation Innovation. She brings expertise in advocacy evaluation, network and systems evaluation, and evaluation capacity building. Prior to joining CEI, 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 assessment, immigration 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.

  • Dr. Albertina Lopez (she/hers) is Senior Associate at the Center for Evaluation Innovation. She leads and supports parts of the organization’s evaluation portfolio and Evaluation Roundtable work, applying her expertise in leadership, evaluation capacity building, philanthropy, organizational development and learning, research design and data analysis, and evaluation approaches that emphasize strategic learning for racial equity and justice. Prior to joining CEI, she worked with Kaiser Permanente’s Community Benefit in Southern California where she managed evaluation, learning, and strategic planning for major grant initiatives. Before that, she consulted at the Claremont Evaluation Center and worked with nonprofits to help them make program and organizational improvements and meet accountability requirements. Albertina has a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University in evaluation, applied research methods, and organizational behavior and an undergraduate degree from San Jose State University in psychology and philosophy.

  • Mariah Brothe Gantz (she/hers) is an Associate at the Center for Evaluation Innovation. She started her career in service learning and civic engagement with youth, where she began to learn about the importance of evaluation and the role it can play in creating cultural and societal change. Before joining CEI, she worked with the Leadership Conference Education Fund as the lead data analyst on the Communities Against Hate Initiative. Mariah has a graduate degree in public administration from the George Washington University with an emphasis in nonprofit management, and an undergraduate degree in cultural anthropology from the University of Northern Colorado.

  • Melly Kitenge (she/hers) is the Executive Assistant at the Center for Evaluation Innovation. She is a seasoned administrative professional with experience in small as well as large nonprofit organizations. Prior to joining CEI, she worked with Friends of the Library, Montgomery County as Office Coordinator. Before that, she worked with Afya, Inc. as Project Administrator on their logistics contract with the Americorps VISTA. She was introduced to evaluation during her long tenure at the Institute for Conservation Leadership at the beginning of her career. Melly has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Grinnell College.

  • Efraín Gutiérrez (he/his) is a Senior Fellow with the Center for Evaluation Innovation. His research at CEI focuses on re-imagining strategy, evaluation, and research practices so that philanthropy is in service of racial equity and justice. He is also a Visiting Fellow with the Evans Policy & Innovation Center at the University of Washington. Efraín has dedicated his career to advancing belonging, dignity, and justice in the social sector. He came to CEI after serving as inaugural Head of Impact and Evaluation at the Obama Foundation. During his tenure he oversaw equity-centered evaluation practices that significantly increased access to high quality, multicultural, valid data to inform decision-making, improve strategy, and measure impact. Prior to the foundation, Efraín was Associate Director for Equity Partnerships at FSG, a global consulting firm that focuses on social impact. There he advised over 25 foundations, corporations, governments, and nonprofits on the development of strategic plans, evaluation systems, and program evaluations. He also co-led efforts to embed racial equity into FSG’s culture and consulting practices. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Universidad Panamericana in Guadalajara Mexico and a master’s from the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Washington. He is a proud queer immigrant from Capilla de Guadalupe, a small town in Jalisco Mexico and currently lives in San Francisco CA.