Methods Track: Workshop Summaries and Presenter Information
1. Workshop Title: A Retrospective on Evaluation in the US Federal Public Sector
Organization: Grant Thornton
Summary: Grant Thornton will present a retrospective of federal agency evaluation efforts and facilitate a discussion between policy makers from the Executive Branch (the Office of Management and Budget), the Legislative Branch (Congressional Committee staff) and non-profit organizations (Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy). Areas of focus include major legislation and individual agency evaluation efforts.
Proceedings: Session Transcript
Robert Johnston Shea
Robert is a Director in Grant Thornton’s Global Public Sector. He is a member of the Organizational Improvement Team and leads a number of performance management engagements, including at the Departments of Agriculture and Homeland Security. He was most recently at the Office of Management and Budget as Associate Director for Administration and Government Performance. In addition to managing OMB’s internal operations, Robert led the President’s Performance Improvement Initiative, administered the Program Assessment Rating Tool, advised on government human capital policy and led interagency collaborations in the areas of food safety and implementation of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act. Before joining OMB, Robert served as Counsel to the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs where, in addition to general oversight of Executive Branch management, he advised Committee leadership on the status of implementation of the statutory framework for performance-based government, including the Government Performance and Results Act and the Chief Financial Officers Act. He was Legislative Director for Congressman Pete Sessions (TX) from 1997 to 1999, where he organized the Results Caucus, a group of Members of Congress dedicated to results-based management and solving many of the government’s major management problems. Robert was a Professional Staff Member with the House Committee on Government Reform from 1995 through 1996. There he had responsibility for examining the economy and efficiency of government programs, and acted as liaison with the government’s Inspectors General. Robert is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and a member of its Board of Directors. He is a graduate of Connecticut College and South Texas College of Law.
Jon Baron is president of the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that he founded in 2001. Since its founding, the Coalition has built a strong track record of success in working with key Executive Branch and Congressional policymakers to advance evidence-based reforms in major U.S. social programs. A recent independent assessment found that “the Coalition has successfully influenced legislative language, increased funding for evidence-based evaluations and programs, helped shape the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Program Assessment Rating Tool, and raised the level of debate in the policy process regarding standards of evidence.”
Based on this work, Mr. Baron was twice nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate to serve on the National Board for Education Sciences (2004-2011). He currently serves as the Board’s Vice-Chair. He has also served on the National Academies’ Committee on Capitalizing on Science, Technology, and Innovation; and is an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of Experimental Criminology, and recipient of the Society for Prevention Research’s Public Service Award (2006).
Prior to establishing the Coalition, Mr. Baron served as the Executive Director of the Presidential Commission on Offsets in International Trade (2000-2001), Program Manager for the Defense Department's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program (1995-2000), and Counsel to the House of Representatives Committee on Small Business (1989-1994).
Mr. Baron holds a law degree from Yale Law School, a master's degree in public affairs from Princeton University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rice University.
Dan Rosenbaum is a senior economist in the Economic Policy Division of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Dan’s role is to interject more empirical evidence and economic analysis into decisions made by OMB and other White House policy officials, especially in the areas of labor, education, poverty, and criminal justice policy. Dan has played a leadership role in government-wide program evaluation efforts. Previously, Dan was a senior economist with the Council of Economic Advisers and a tenured economics professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). Dan taught several graduate-level econometrics and data analysis courses at UNCG; his research was mostly in the areas of the earned income tax credit, welfare programs, marriage incentives, child care, unemployment insurance, and the returns to education. For the last five years Dan also has moonlighted as a statistical consultant for the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he advises the team on free agency, trades, the draft, and on game preparation. Dan has a Ph.D in Economics from Northwestern University.
2. Workshop Title: The "Gold Standard" Debate
Organization: Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Summary: This roundtable discussion is an opportunity for diplomacy evaluators to discuss evaluation methodologies. Evaluators will discuss the relative benefits of experimental/quasi-experimental methods as the gold standard and the way that the debate between these and other methods affects evaluation in the foreign affairs community.
Proceedings: Session Transcript
Dr. Robin Silver is the Chief of Evaluation, in the Office of Policy and Evaluation’s Evaluation Division, in the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Evaluation Division has been conducting both program evaluations and performance measurement for over ten years. Prior to joining the Department of State in 2003, Dr. Silver worked for USAID, as Senior Evaluator and Performance Measurement Specialist. She has PhD from University of California, Berkeley, and a BA from Princeton, in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.