Karen Walker, Ph.D., is a renowned implementation evaluator who has worked with many of the leading foundations in the United States, including the Robert Wood Johnson, Annie E. Casey, and Wallace foundations. She is an expert in the fields of youth development, community collaboration, and nonprofit management. She specializes in designing, collecting, and analyzing data for multi-site, multi-method evaluations, many of which focus on collaborative efforts to improve the health and well-being of low-income populations in urban communities.
In recent years, Dr. Walker has worked with a several high performing nonprofits as they develop their capacity to collect and use information to strengthen their clients outcomes through programming and case management. She has sat on evaluation advisory committees for organizations such as Becoming a Man, a developmental program for adolescent young men in Chicago and Boston, WINGS for kids, a social-emotional program for elementary school children in Charleston, SC and other southern cities, and More Than Words, a social enterprise to support youth’s employment, education, and developmental needs. In addition to her work with programs, Dr. Walker has evaluated efforts to strengthen organizations‚ capacities, such as the Wallace Foundation’s Financial Management Initiative, which resulted in The Skills to Pay the Bills: An Evaluation of an Effort to Help Nonprofits Manage Their Finances.
Dr. Walker is committed to improving understanding of the organizational structures and program practices that contribute to positive outcomes for vulnerable populations.