About Us

  • Julia Coffman (she/hers) is 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 Director of the Evaluation Roundtable, where she is chief designer, organizer, and champion of this philanthropic learning and evaluation network as it orients and moves in service of racial equity and justice. Chera came to the Roundtable 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 supports 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. 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.