Board of Directors
The MNEA Board is an all-volunteer working board. All board members are responsible for and actively involved in the on-going management, implementation, and work of the organization.
Claire Dunlap, 2021 President-Elect
Claire Dunlap is Director of Organizational Effectiveness at Youthprise, a think tank in Minneapolis dedicated to increasing equity with and for Minnesota’s indigenous, low-income, and racially diverse youth by mobilizing and investing resources, advancing knowledge, and advocating for change. Claire leads and implements strategies to advance overall effectiveness at Youthprise including: setting the evaluation agenda, reporting Youthprise’s impact externally, and improving internal organizational functioning by advancing solutions around structure, power, and culture. Claire graduated with an MA in organizational development and program evaluation from the University of Minnesota. Previously, Claire served as Community Partnerships Coordinator at Saint Paul Public Schools, Department of Family Engagement and Community Partnerships working to build the District’s community partnerships framework. In her spare time, Claire also teaches therapeutic yoga and is passionate about the mind-body connection.
Elizabeth Taylor-Schiro, 2022 President-Elect
Elizabeth Taylor-Schiro - Biidabanikwe (St. Croix Chippewa/Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe) is a PhD student in the Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development department at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, focusing on the intersections of evaluation, public health, and policy. She holds a Master’s degree from the University of Minnesota in Educational Policy and Leadership, and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin in Human Development and Family Studies with a Minor in Gender and Women's Studies. She is passionate about Maternal and Child Health equity, Social Justice advocacy, and Education development. Her current roles allow her to put these passions into practice as a Health Educator for Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center, Research Assistant/Evaluator for the University of Minnesota’s Institute for Community Integration’s Check and Connect program, Birth Doula for Division of Indian Work’s Ninde Doula program, and an Independent Evaluation and Research Consultant assisting organizations with culturally-reflexive, equity-focused, and community-driven research and evaluation strategies. Her aim is to lead efforts forward for evaluation within policy and government that is community-centered, self-reflexive, and works across systems to address issues of power and bias. In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys exploring outdoors and spending time with her husband Travis and two fur babies Thor and Sif.
Maira is an evaluator at the Minnesota Department of Education on the Data Analytics, and Youth Development and Health Promotion teams. She provides the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant program with research, data analysis, and evaluation to meet the federal requirements of the U.S. Department of Education. As a former researcher in public health, she aims to bridge education and health data to address academic success and health equity in Minnesota using community-based and participatory methodologies. Maira has been on the MNEA board since 2016. She holds a Master’s in organizational leadership, policy, and development (evaluation studies) with a minor in public health, and dual bachelor degrees in Chicano studies and Spanish Studies with a concentration in Public Health from the University of Minnesota.
Hue Schlieu, Treasurer
Hue is a Training and Programming Specialist at Saint Paul Public Schools. She finds her passion and work at the intersection of youth development and racial/gender equity. She has a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management and Public Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Art and Math. Hue loves how evaluation can provide individuals and organizations a systemic way to reflect and make informed decisions. In her personal time, she enjoys rock climbing, woodworking, and unfolding life with her wife and two kiddos.
Kate Diamond, Secretary
Kate Diamond is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development department at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Before moving back to Minnesota to start her doctoral studies, Kate was a manager and internal evaluator at Laspau, a nonprofit organization in Boston focused on international higher education. Kate has a B.A. in sociology and international relations from Tufts University and an Ed.M. in international education policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In her free time, Kate enjoys cooking, seeing live music, and exploring the Twin Cities with her husband Jeff and daughter Mia.
Alicia Ranney, Membership Chair
Alicia Ranney is Vice President of Data and Evaluation at Metropolitan Alliance of Connected Communities (MACC). In her role, she leads a wonderful team of consultants who partner with dozens of community-based organizations across the metro who are part of the MACC Data Network. Their work supports organizational incubation, capacity building and collaborative network building in data and evaluation, as well as ongoing work to build and support members’ databases. Her evaluation interests include journey mapping, and utilization and participatory approaches to evaluation. Previously, she worked at Pillsbury United Communities’ Wait House as a Data and Program Coordinator, and worked in advocate policy advocacy as the State Director of the Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition. Alicia holds a Master’s in Social Work with a specialization in research from Washington University in St. Louis, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Florida State University. She always works to keep at least one foot in social justice movements in the Twin Cities, and also enjoys going to libraries, playing music, and going on new adventures with her husband Merle and their two kids, Sebastian and Amelia.
Kassira Absar, Program Co-Chair
Kassira Absar is a Consultant with The Improve Group, a research and evaluation firm located in St. Paul. Kassira’s roles include work with culturally/community responsive evaluation approaches, evaluation, participatory approaches, facilitation, and survey research. She has a passion for antiracism and social justice work. She graduated from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs with a Master’s in public policy in 2015. She received her B.A. from University of Maryland, College Park in 2009, and will always be a Terp at heart. Kassira is also a certified yoga instructor and loves hiking, mountains, and reading.
Erica Orton, Program Co-Chair
Erica Orton is the Evaluation and Learning Manager at the Bush Foundation in St. Paul. Erica's role at the Bush Foundation is to develop and execute organization-wide evaluation strategies and learning plans across all program areas. Erica joins the Bush Foundation from the Minnesota Historical Society where she was the Evaluation Associate, specializing in public program & K-12 program evaluation and data utilization strategies. Erica also has a background in education, working as a second grade teacher near Washington DC. She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2001 with a degree in Music & Art.
Naaima Khan, Communications Co-Chair
Naaima Khan is Owner and Principal of Create Good, a consultancy that helps organizations more effectively address anti-racism in their equity and inclusion efforts with a special focus on data and creating culturally-responsive evaluation. Prior to starting her own business, she worked in philanthropy for over eight years, advocating for it to be a more accessible space for IBPOC professionals and communities. Naaima has spoken about race equity and inclusive design at Ignite Minneapolis, Black Ignite, TEDx Mahtomedi and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.
Naaima holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Texas at Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs with a concentration in nonprofit studies. She has served on the board of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of the Twin Cities and Islamic Resource Group, a nonprofit dedicated to building bridges among Muslims and the broader community. She also serves on the advisory board of Saint Olaf College’s Lutheran Center for Faith, Values, and Community. When not working on creating logic models, evaluation frameworks, DEI strategy and written content with clients, Naaima usually has her head stuck in business development and other nonfiction books.
Spectra Myers, Communications Co-ChairSpectra Myers is an applied researcher and human-centered designer who has worked in financial inclusion, social entrepreneurship, and youth development fields. She recently returned to the Twin Cities after a few years in Washington D.C. on Prosperity Now’s Applied Research team where she provided methodological expertise on research and evaluation to a range of practitioners. She holds a Master of Arts in Evaluation Studies from the University of Minnesota and Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology from Macalester College. Spectra enjoys making focaccia, canoeing in the Boundary Waters, and beating others ruthlessly at board games.
Kayla Gross, Student Representative
My name is Kayla Gross and I am a Master of Applied Psychology Student at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, concentrating on Evaluation and Industrial/Organizational Psychology. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato in Psychology. I am passionate for assisting in company and non-profit development to help organizations reach their maximum potential through the use of program evaluation. I want to be able to make both a short-term and long-term impact on the success of these organizations. In my free time, I enjoy working out, shopping, and exploring the outdoors (particularly in warm weather).
Tom Wade, Student Representative
Tom is a Master’s student in the Applied Psychology program at the University of Wisconsin – Stout, concentrating in Evaluation and Industrial/Organizational Psychology. He received his Bachelor’s in Psychology and Neurobiology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and now lives in Milwaukee. After undergrad, he worked at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin as a clinical researcher, where he developed an appreciation for Quality Improvement research and experimental design. Looking to find a career that let him follow these interests, he applied to the MSAP program at Stout. He feels that the best way to understand something is to immerse yourself in it and has joined the MNEA as a way to surround himself with brilliant evaluators with valuable experiences to share. His aim on the Board is to represent students and anyone interested in learning more about Evaluation. In his free time, Tom enjoys skiing, biking, and playing Magic cards with his friends.
We are a volunteer board of directors who are committed to our local community of evaluators. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will return your email as soon as we can!
Thank you to our past presidents for their service!
2020 Maira Rosas-Lee
2019 Nicole MartinRogers
2018 Melissa Chapman Haynes
2017 Sarah Cohn
2016 Randi Nelson
2015 Ann Zukoski
2014 Rosemary White Shield
2013 Gail Mason-Chagil
2012 Leah Goldstein Moses
2011 Frank Schweigert
2010 Kathy Gilmore