Catalyst - FALL 2021 VOL 4 NO 2 - Page 8

ERC Partner Spotlight:

TRE Consulting

An Interview with Taneisha Lee Brown, Chief Executive Officer

Can you share with us a bit about your background and how you started working in Evaluation?

I completed my undergraduate degree at Georgia Tech. During my sophomore year, I began working at Georgia Tech’s K-12 outreach center, CEISMC. At the time, I was a math tutor and I absolutely enjoyed my work with young people. I was able to share my passion for math and I found that I was a natural educator. It was also eye opening because I realized not only the inequities in education but the demands and expectations placed on educators. I recognized the need for individuals and organizations to complement the work of schools and families. The work at CEISMC sparked a desire to support educators, schools, and youth development organizations. I worked at CEISMC for a total of 15 years managing academic mentoring and tutoring programs. My natural desire to improve my own programs and understand how I could maximize their impact inspired me to pursue a Master’s in Public Administration and eventually my Ph.D. where I would study research and statistics and start working in evaluation.

What inspired you to co-found TRE Consulting?

I co-founded TRE because I knew I had an unique perspective and set of skills that I wanted to share with the world. While managing youth programs, I had experiences with evaluators who were completely hands-off or who did not tailor their approach to my program or my clients’ needs. Those experiences shaped the kind of evaluations that TRE conducts and how we engage with our clients. While pursuing my Ph.D., I decided to establish TRE to give nonprofits an experience I did not have. We begin each client engagement with a conversation about the organization, their needs, goals, and experiences with program evaluation. We create and implement custom evaluations that examine the impact and are useful to staff at all levels.

What are some of the main goals of TRE Consulting, and of your

own work in Evaluation?

I would say I have two main goals: engage clients in the work and decrease the fear and negative stigma around evaluation, data, and numbers. TRE believes in utilization-focused evaluations. It’s an evaluation approach that judges an evaluation primarily on usefulness to its intended users. We aim to use this approach not only in our program evaluations, but in all of our client engagements.