The first quarter of 2019 was busy for EnCompass CEO/CFO Tessie Catsambas. She is serving as the American Evaluation Association (AEA) President for the duration of the year, participating in conversations about the future of evaluation with constituencies around the United States and the world.
Ms. Catsambas’ mandate as president is to serve the members and support the mission of AEA “to improve evaluation practices and methods, increase evaluation use, promote evaluation as a profession, and support the contribution of evaluation to the generation of theory and knowledge about effective human action.” A key part of this undertaking is working with evaluators and evaluation associations in communities around the United States and other countries, across diverse sectors, to understand challenges and successes.
In early March, Ms. Catsambas attended the ninth International African Evaluation Association (AfrEA) Conference in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The theme of the AfrEA Conference was to accelerate Africa’s development by strengthening national evaluation ecosystems and through a “Made in Africa” evaluation lens. Ms. Catsambas spoke on a plenary panel at the event, and met with leaders of evaluation associations and societies from different countries to engage in a conversation about strengthening democratic decision making through evaluation. She published further thoughts in the AEA newsletter available here.
At the end of March, Ms. Catsambas headed to Chicago to she attend the fifth International Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) Conference. Dr. Stafford Hood invited her to the conference to offer a greeting from the AEA to the CREA community.
Speaking about her experience at CREA, Ms. Catsambas said: “The CREA conversations called forth our responsibility for awareness and intentionality in our work. The CREA theme of intersectionality was a great reminder that none of us is ‘a single story’ and that grappling with complexity is messy, personal, and intimate.”
In a meeting with the Chicago Evaluation Society, Ms. Catsambas discussed the importance the AEA places on working together with their local affiliate evaluation organizations on the common agenda to promote the use of evaluation to serve the public good.
Ms. Catsambas’ next stop is Galloway, New Jersey, where she will deliver a keynote at the Eastern Evaluation Research Society (EERS) 2019 Conference in early May. At the end of May, she will join the annual conference of the Canadian Evaluation Society in Halifax. To keep up to date on where Ms. Catsambas will be appearing during her AEA presidency, follow hers and the EnCompass’ Twitter accounts at @TessieCatsambas and @EnCompass_World.