Leah is a mentor and teacher who coaches The Improve Group’s staff of new and experienced evaluators. She has introduced hundreds of philanthropic, nonprofit, public, and corporate leaders to evaluation. Leah is an expert at gleaning insight from data for program planning, development, and evaluation. She loves thinking about design, applying her expertise and adaptability to ensure every project is creative and valuable. Since founding The Improve Group in 2000, Leah has been influential in infusing art and creative methods into evaluation. All her work is grounded in a deep commitment to community, which is embodied in The Improve Group’s Community-Responsive ApproachSM to evaluation.
As the leader of the The Improve Group, Leah has gained extensive experience in helping organizations demonstrate their results. She has thought deeply about the client experience—and what The Improve Group must promise to clients—because she wants consulting to be rich and engaging. Leah listens carefully and strives to be helpful, focusing particularly on the strengths of clients and understanding the challenges they face.
Organizational strategy and change
Leah is an expert at helping clients name and face their challenges so they can overcome them. She is adept at guiding clients to the right strategies, helping organizations and leaders recognize and seize opportunities for greater impact. Leah connects clients to the broader fields in which they work and across disciplines.
Leah offers leadership to the field of evaluation. She nurtures and develops leaders using a shared-power model, which has helped her attract a creative and wise staff who are committed to the mission-driven organizations The Improve Group serves. Leah is skilled at recognizing and lifting up leaders from many places and perspectives.
In her very earliest consulting projects, Leah used a capacity-building approach to help clients more fully understand and benefit from evaluation and strategic planning. Over the last 10 years, Leah has taken the lessons learned in these projects to design and deliver interactive, engaging, and highly useful training. Participants have learned how to create logic models, design evaluation tools, understand data, refine organizational strategies, and engage stakeholders.
Social change measurement
Leah contributes to multiple frameworks to help people think about and discuss social change. She is part of the American Evaluation Association’s topical interest group on Social Impact Measurement. Leah also oversaw The Improve Group’s recent transition to becoming a Public Benefit Corporation to reflect its commitment to the greater public good. Leah’s work focuses on the leading edge of social benefit—from upending accountability systems to be community-driven, to uncovering new strategies for equity, to engaging the corporate sector in positive social change.
Market Strategies for Social Impact: Learning from and contributing to the emerging market of social impact measurement.
The Improve Group | St. Paul, MN | Founder & CEO | 2000-present | Leads The Improve Group to help organizations make the most of information, navigate complexity, and ensure clients’ investments of time and money lead to meaningful, sustained impact.
Reflective Leadership Center | Minneapolis, MN | Research Assistant | 1999-2000 | Worked on leadership, stakeholder analysis, and facilitation projects and contributed to Facilitation Workbook and stakeholder mapping projects.
Coral Springs Police Department | Coral Springs, FL | Mentoring Program Coordinator | 1997-1998 | Developed and coordinated a mentoring program for at-risk middle school students and worked with officers, staff at four schools, parents, and community leaders to serve students.
Department of Human Services | Ft. Lauderdale, FL | Foster Care Counselor | 1996-1997 | Worked with children, biological and foster families, guardians ad litem, and service providers to ensure children were safe and receiving the services they needed.
Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota | Master of Urban and Regional Planning with a concentration on Evaluation and Analysis Methods (American Planning Association Outstanding Student award)
Macalester College | Bachelor of Arts in History and Urban Studies
Want to learn more about Leah? Check out their full resume here!