Plenary Sessions

The 2020 Presidential Strand Plenaries will feature in-depth presentations that focus on this year’s theme: How Will You Shine Your Light? These sessions have been organized to reflect on how evaluators' work is a shining light within the field and for those around them. Take a look at what to expect from these sessions, and stay tuned for more details to come!

How We Shine Our Light: Songs, Stories, and Reflections

Tuesday, October 27 | 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. ET

Presented by: 

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Aimee White
AEA President
  Chari Smith
Founder, President, Evaluation Into Action


This is not your typical presidential strand session. Chari Smith will performs original songs and shares stories exploring how we shine our light. She will blend her program evaluation expertise with her passion for music. You will meet Eval20 Reimagined speakers as they share how their perspective on how they shine their light, and through song learn how to navigate the virtual experience.

About Chari Smith:

Chari Smith believes evaluation should be accessible, practical and usable. She founded Evaluation into Action, located in Portland, Oregon, to help nonprofit professionals create realistic and meaningful program evaluation processes. She has taught several workshops helping nonprofit professionals understand the value and use of program evaluation. Her book comes out this fall: Nonprofit Program Evaluation Made Simple: Get Your Data. Show Your Impact. Improve Your Programs. Learn more here -

Measuring Love

Wednesday, October 28 | 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. ET

Presented by:

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Moderator: Tom Kelly, VP for Evaluation and Impact, Hawai‘i Community Foundation

Panelist: Audrey Jordan, Ph.D., Independent Consultant, ADJ Consulting and Coaching

Panelist: Sammy Nunez, Founder of Fathers & Families of San Joaquin

Panelist: Shiree Teng, Independent Strategy and [E]valuation Consultant

 This panel discussion is based on a Brown Paper resulting from years of heart-led community collaboration and social justice work. The authors, and those included in the paper, share stories and insights into how to “measure love.” They will discuss how we call upon love as an antidote to injustice, and discuss how we “measure” transformative love, or rather, how we can know it when we see it and how we can document its power for change.

Read the paper in preparation for this transformative session!

About Audrey Jordan:

Audrey is currently an independent consultant with her own practice – ADJ Consulting and Coaching. Audrey’s consulting areas of expertise are in capacity building for constituent-centered, place-based community change; cultivating community democracy; strengthening organizational and collaborative partnership capacities for learning and accountability; and teaching about and facilitating conversations to promote racial equity and social justice.  Two examples of her recent work include: Development evaluator and Facilitator/Documenter for The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities initiative (6/18 – present); and Co-Team Leader for the Partnership Support Team for the First 5 LA funded Best Start initiative (4/14 – 12/18).  Audrey is also the Jerry D. Campbell Professor of Civic Engagement at Claremont Lincoln University, and is a certified executive life coach, focused on “accompanying social justice leaders and teams to unchain power for transformation.”

About Shiree Teng:

Shiree Teng is a learning and [e]valuation partner to social benefit organizations and their funders. Using a developmental approach, rooted in power analysis and cultural contexts, Shiree's practice is guided by organizing principles and love for the community. For the past 20+ years, Shiree has been an independent consultant helping groups sharpen organizational identity, strategies, and the use of reflective practice to inform action.

Illuminating Justice: Challenging the Status Quo with Data-driven Disruption   

Thursday, October 29 | 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. ET

Presented by:


Talithia Williams

Big Data Expert, Math Professor & Host of NOVA Wonders

We all show up to our jobs bringing our expertise to bear on the evaluative work we do. But how many of us make space, in our work endeavors, to pursue our passions? Is it even possible to live out our passion and let our lights shine in our professional spaces? In this talk, we will discuss ways that we can challenge systems, traditions, perspectives, and the status quo by bringing our whole selves to our work environment. By employing data-driven disruption, we can shift historical mindsets and create transformational change.

About Talithia Williams: 

A host of the PBS series, NOVA Wonders, Dr. Talithia Williams is a groundbreaking professor, popular TED speaker, inspiring author and passionate STEM/STEAM advocate. She has made it her life's work to get people of all ages and backgrounds excited about the bold possibilities of a STEM education and to “STEMpower” women and minorities to enter these professions. Her latest book, Power in Numbers: The Rebel Women of Mathematics reflects Williams’ passion to re-brand the field of mathematics as anything but dry, technical or maledominated. Renowned for her popular TED Talk, “Own Your Body’s Data,” she advocates for all of us to deploy data as a way of taking charge of our own health. A vibrant, engaging and energizing speaker, Dr. Williams demystifies data, statistics, probabilities and the mathematical process in amusing and insightful ways. She also passionately champions the contributions of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians and their vital role in transforming our future.

Dr. Williams is Associate Dean for Research and Experiential Learning and Associate Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College, where she develops statistical models which emphasize the spatial and temporal structure of data, and applies them to real world problems. Focused on data analytics, mathematics, statistical modeling and STEM Outreach, she is the first African-American woman to achieve tenure at the college. She hosts NOVA Wonders, a PBS mini-series that explores the biggest questions on the frontiers of science. She also appeared in NOVA’s Prediction by the Numbers, a series exploring the history of probabilities and gambling. In addition to her teaching and television work, she has partnered with the World Health Organization in developing a cataract model used to predict the cataract surgical rate for countries in Africa. Her professional experiences include research appointments at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA’s Johnson Space Center, and the National Security Agency.