Assistant Professor, Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics, and Assessment
Emily Gates is a practitioner, scholar, and assistant professor of evaluation. Interventions to provide services, improve peoples’ lives, and change organizations and large-scale systems all require evaluation to assess whether and how these interventions actually lead to immediate and lasting change.
Gates conducts evaluations to assess the implementation, effectiveness, outcomes, and overall quality of interventions, with emphases on diversity and equity. She has co-led and assisted with evaluations funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), State Department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as state and local organizations. She currently leads evaluations of a K-12 principal leadership development program, Lynch Leadership Academy; a network of school districts adopting student-centered learning, Massachusetts Personalized Learning for Equity and Excellence; and NSF-funded Noyce Master Teaching Fellowship. Graduate students, including doctoral, masters, and undergraduate level, develop their evaluation skills by working with her on these projects.
As a scholar, she advances two research strands to improve evaluation theory and methodology to better address the complexity of social interventions and change. First, she conducts research on the use of systems thinking and methods for evaluation, particularly, in system change efforts. She is currently coediting a special issue of New Directions for Evaluation on systems thinking and complexity science in evaluation and serves as the co-chair of the American Evaluation Association’s Systems in Evaluation interest group. Second, she explores how evaluators engage with the plurality of stakeholder values regarding social interventions while addressing inequities. She currently leads a study funded by the Barr Foundation surveying and interviewing evaluators in New England about whether and how they advance equity in their work.
She teaches graduate courses in evaluation practice, evaluation theory, mixed methods research, and theory of change. She also provides workshops to faculty and others on topics including evaluation, intervention design, systems thinking and mapping, and system change.