Natalie Donahue (Federal Government)

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My name is Natalie Donahue and I am the Chief of Evaluation in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at the U.S. Department of State.
In my spare time I also serve as the Membership Chair for the Washington Evaluators (the American Evaluation Association’s DC region local affiliate organization) and teach public policy courses for The Ohio State University (my alma mater).
I lead an incredible staff of Monitoring and Evaluation Specialists in measuring and evaluating the effectiveness and long-term outcomes of ECA’s exchange programs through conducting complex analyses and evaluations, monitoring our programs, and building the evaluation capacity of our colleagues and external partners. I am also responsible for coordinating ECA evaluation initiatives and policy within the Bureau and ensuring ECA’s evaluation efforts are aligned with Department of State and Congressional policies and priorities.
I lead an incredible staff of Monitoring and Evaluation Specialists in measuring and evaluating the effectiveness and long-term outcomes of ECA’s exchange programs through conducting complex analyses and evaluations, monitoring our programs, and building the evaluation capacity of our colleagues and external partners. I am also responsible for coordinating ECA evaluation initiatives and policy within the Bureau and ensuring ECA’s evaluation efforts are aligned with Department of State and Congressional policies and priorities.
My team’s work provides a means to better understand where ECA programs are successful and where improvements can be made – all in the effort to ensure U.S. taxpayer dollars are being spent effectively. The data and analyses provided by my team’s efforts enable ECA program staff and senior leadership to assess performance and inform strategic planning at both the Bureau and individual exchange program levels. As our Bureau is dedicated to transparency and accountability, all evaluation reports are posted online so the American people are aware of and understand the effectiveness of ECA exchange programming.
It’s an exciting time for my team and I as we are now piloting our new Monitoring Data for ECA (MODE) Framework; our Bureau-wide monitoring system we collaboratively created with relevant stakeholders throughout 2019. This includes a strategy crosswalk of how ECA programs advance National Security Strategy priorities. You can find out more about the MODE Framework here.
I’m always happy to meet new people (particularly those with good book recommendations!) so feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. I’d love to hear from you!

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