Bill Leon, Ph.D, President, Geo Education & Research
17027 37th Ave. NE
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155 USA
|1984||Ph.D., Geography, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington|
|1978||M.A., Geography, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado|
|1976||Scholarship student, Ludwig Maximillians Universität, München, Germany|
|1975||B.A., Geography, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia (Magna cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa)|
President, Geo Education & Research
I provide consulting, research and facilitation services in program evaluation and on environmental, geographic and community development issues for educational programs, government agencies, foundations, nonprofit organizations and businesses
I provide teaching, training and coaching in evaluation and other areas
I promote and conduct geographic, environmental, and community-based education in the U.S. and in other countries (see www.geoeducation.org)
Senior Associate, Organizational Research Services, Seattle, Washington
Responsible for developing and implementing program evaluations for nonprofits, government agencies and foundations; training and coaching organizations in evaluation methods; developing proposals; and marketing evaluation services.
Instructor, University of Washington Seattle, Washington
Teaching program evaluation courses for various colleges and departments and mentoring students in their professional development.
Director, Center for Community Development & Design, University of Colorado
Responsible for facilitating the integration of service, education, and research activities at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and throughout the state through programs and projects that applied the skills of the staff, faculty, students and community professionals to solve pressing local and state-wide problems (completing 300 projects over 15 years).
- Assistant Professor Adjunct, Department of Geography & Environmental Studies
- Assistant Professor Adjunct, Graduate School of Public Affairs
- Assistant Professor Adjunct, Ethnic Minority Studies
SAMPLE PROJECTS (among 120+)
International Criminal Court Evaluation System Design and Reporting Assistance
Since 2007 Geo Education & Research has been helping the Outreach Unit of the International Criminal Court develop and implement a formal evaluation process. The work involves helping staff in The Hague and in five African countries identify key outcomes; developing an evaluation plan with specific indicators methods; developing data collection tools and protocols that work in unique cultural and challenging political settings (e.g., refugee camps); and designing and implementing a web-based database to track relevant information. Innovative, real-time data analysis and display capabilities help the staff and other stakeholders more easily access and use data for program improvement and reporting. We also helped the Outreach Unit analyze and report on its 2007 accomplishments in a written report and multi-media DVD. Now they use our database to make their own reports.
United Nations Evaluation and Performance Measurement Methods for Results-Based Budgeting and Management
Bill was a consultant and trainer for the United Nations on reform of the cycle of planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation of UN programs as part of its transition to results-based budgeting and management (RBM). He co-designed a training manual and trained hundreds of UN staff on evaluation techniques for results-based budgeting; interviewed UN managers, staff and representatives of Member States on the implementation of RBM to outline concerns and suggestions for improving the way the UN uses data to measure its results; and designed and led a workshop in Geneva for 63 representatives of 31 UN organizations to identify best practices in the use of RBM and ways they are best applied in the contexts that UN organizations work.
Tacoma Public Schools Indian Education Program Evaluation
Bill Leon conducted an external evaluation of the District’s Indian Education Program to assess the extent to which students served by the program were succeeding and graduating from high school. Data collected from the District and directly from students, staff, and parents showed that students were receiving substantial support, especially in high school. The graduation rates of seniors participating in their senior year exceeded those of all other demographic groups in the District. Based on Geo’s report and presentation, the District found the funds to continue supporting the staff in the high schools that the evaluation showed were the keys to success.
Healthy Child Care Washington (HCCW), Washington State Department of Health, Office of Maternal and Child Health
Healthy Child Care Washington (HCCW) is a statewide program which aims to improve the quality of child care through a consultative model carried out by local health jurisdictions and through systems development among early childhood partners. We worked closely with HCCW staff, system partners and other contractors to develop and implement a sustainable, results-oriented evaluation system, which includes process and outcome evaluation. We developed and tested several key data collection tools to ensure that tools and processes would meet the needs of Child Care Health Consultants (CCHCs) who work with diverse children and caregivers across the state to promote health and safety in child care settings. Through this evaluation, we were able to track actual changes in consultative practices in systems, child care providers’ awareness and behaviors, parent and child care providers’ communication, and child care policies and environments that will improve the health and safety of children in child care.
Potlatch Fund Evaluation System Design and Implementation
Bill Leon was the lead evaluator on a multi-year effort to help the Potlatch Fund design and implement an evaluation process covering its training, capacity building, grantmaking, leveraging, networking and brokering activities for Native people and communities in the Northwest. Products included a logic model, an outcome map, data collection tools, evaluation plan, evaluation implementation plan, and data management, analysis and reporting templates that integrated with the Fund’s management information system. Bill also trained staff in how to implement the tools, prepare summaries of results, and report findings to key stakeholders. The work has empowered the organization to continue evaluating its efforts without outside assistance or ongoing costs and has allowed it to more effectively inform people and partner organizations about its effective activities and results.
Tacoma Housing Authority McCarver School Voucher Program Evaluation
For five years Bill Leon conducted a comprehensive evaluation of a program to increase residential stability in a very transient, low-income neighborhood in Tacoma and to measure the effects on school performance. The work involved collecting and analyzing school performance data over time and comparing performance to several comparison groups. In addition, Bill studied support to parents and changes in the school. The work demonstrated significant changes in youth and parent outcomes in the first year of the program and identified ways to improve the program and to track specific and meaningful changes in school performance and child and family well-being.
First Peoples, First Steps Assessment of Early Learning Needs of Native Children in Washington
Bill Leon conducted a statewide assessment of early learning needs of Native children across Washington. Working with Native and allied leaders in early learning and health care fields, he designed the assessment tool and data collection process that reached into Native communities across the state. Data are assisting many organizations in developing more effective programs to meet the needs of Native children as seen by their parents and other caregivers.
Regional Partnership for Systems Change, Evaluation of 3-Year U.S. HHS Grant to Pierce County Alliance and its Partners to Provide Innovative Treatment and Services to Parents Addicted to Methamphetamine
We have developed and implemented an evaluation of a multi-modal treatment and support services program for parents who have had their children removed to State custody because of their addiction to methamphetamine. The work required data from many sources (e.g., Drug Court, counseling, State Department of Children and Family Services, treatment and service providers) including a comparison group. We also uploaded data to a federal site along with 32 other grantees and participated in collaboration meetings with other grantees and their evaluators. We facilitated this work for all collaborators by building a secure, online database that allowed us to integrate data for uploading to the national database and for downloading for further analysis. This improved case management among service providers while allowing the anonymous sharing of data for outcome and impact analysis.
Washington Dental Service Foundation
Geo Education & Research completed a needs assessment for the Washington State Dental Service Foundation (funded by the largest dental insurer in Washington) focused on the needs of seniors in licensed care facilities. The work entailed surveys of and interviews with nursing homes throughout the state, dentists, dental hygienists, and for profit and nonprofit service providers in other states. We also performed a separate analysis of the acute needs of tribal members on reservations throughout the state. Based on our research, we developed pro-forma financial statements to describe different approaches to meeting needs through such methods as increased screenings and preventative care, mobile clinics or improved insurance programs.
National Safe Place
We designed and developed an evaluation system that includes evaluation planning and data collection tools. One major product was a web-based database that allows youth homeless shelters in over 140 U.S. cities to enter data online and allows them and others to quickly access tailored reports on key variables and trends (in tables, pie charts and other graphics) on topics such as client ethnicity, numbers helped in different ways or comparisons by city size or types of safe places accessed. The system encourages better use data because all partners who enter data can now easily report on their activities and results locally while the national office can sum up results at various scales.
Science Career Ladders Evaluation
Geo Education & Research worked with seven Science Centers across the U.S. and in the United Kingdom to define the key elements of successful programs that work with youth to develop their general work skills, their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math and key aspects of their personal growth into adulthood and professional life. Geo helped each program develop a unique approach to evaluating its outcomes and facilitated the consortium’s efforts to develop a common outcome map to guide other programs. It is also stocking and designing new evaluation planning and data collection tools for an SCL Evaluation Toolbox that participating programs can use to evaluate their efforts in ways that meet consensus standards and needs. Bill led the development and wrote most of a 30-item, 150-page assessment tool for measuring program progress toward consensus elements of effective programs. An online database now allows organizations to easily track and report on evaluation data and to share data collection tools.
Reinvesting in Youth Evaluation (RIY) & Elements of Successful Programs (ESP)
Bill Leon co-directed efforts to evaluate a major systems change effort in juvenile crime prevention in Seattle, Washington and surrounding King County. The change initiative focused on ways to reform the juvenile justice system to place greater reliance on early intervention and treatment as opposed to incarceration and then use potential savings to invest in prevention programs that can effectively prevent other youth from committing crimes and entering the judicial system. One major component of RIY was the ESP program in which we identified (through a meta analysis of over 400 studies of juvenile intervention programs) 24 elements of success commonly found in programs that have been shown to be effective in reducing juvenile crime and violence. For each element we defined specific indicators that can be used to determine if the element exists in a program or organization. We then created and implemented a Program Assessment and Implementation Planning Process with 15 agencies using a guidebook we developed to facilitate self-assessment and planning for program improvement.
The Brainerd Foundation Strategic Plan Evaluation
Bill and his colleagues worked with the Brainerd Foundation to evaluate its five-year strategic plan. After developing logic models for its operations, its communication and capacity building activities, and its environmental protection efforts, Bill and others developed three data collection and analysis strategies. Through reviews of all modest to major grants, they catalogued the grantees achievements in different priority realms. A web-based survey of all of their grantees measured the Foundation’s success from the points of view of their grantees, and collected suggestions for improving grantee relations and effectiveness. Interviews with all staff, selected grantees, trustees, advisors, consultants, other local environmental foundations, and unfunded applicants gathered detailed insights and suggestions in priority issue areas, and they produced a long list of creative ideas for the Foundation to explore. The results were presented to the trustees and staff, and with it the Foundation revised its strategic plan in order to enable it to enhance its effective grantmaking.
Wilburforce Foundation Yellowstone to Yukon Program
Bill conducted an external evaluation of the Wilburforce Foundation Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) Program. Prior to the interviews, surveys and document reviews, we helped them develop a theory of change and logic model to guide the evaluation and future program planning. The Y2Y program evaluation coordinated insights from different points of view as it measured outcomes and impacts of the Wilburforce initiative to engage scientists and environmental nonprofit organizations in research and advocacy collaborations in order to preserve wilderness to enhance habitat connectivity in priority ecological niches. The approach we used allowed us to compare the views of program facilitators, NGO staff and participating scientists.
Zoo and Aquarium Teen Programs Assessment Consortium (ZATPAC)
Bill was ac co-principal facilitator for the development of a generic and widely applicable rationale, strategy, and set of tools for evaluating a wide variety of teen programs commonly found at zoos and aquariums across the U.S. and in other countries. We have helped six institutions (The Brookfield Zoo, The Monterey Bay Aquarium, The New England Aquarium, The Philadelphia Zoo, The San Francisco Zoo, and The Woodland Park Zoo) develop 18 logic models that describe their different programs. Analyzing these documents and facilitating a workshop with representatives of the programs, we helped the team develop a generic theory of change model to illustrate their logical processes and guide their evaluation efforts. We have worked with the consortium on the development of survey and observational instruments to collect data on priority outcomes from youth participants. The first set of pilot data has shown some modest program impacts and serves as the starting point for a more expansive effort to evaluate program impacts. The end product of this work will be an evaluation tool box that will assist zoo and aquarium educational staff (and others working in similar youth and environmental education programs) in the evaluation of commonly sought outcomes.
TEACHING, TRAINING & FACILITATION EXPERIENCE
I have extensive experiencing in teaching and training in university, community, government, school, and non-profit settings. My courses and topics are primarily in the fields of program evaluation, community development, planning, natural hazards, applied geography, group facilitation, citizen participation, service, and voluntarism. I currently teach, train and coach students and organizational clients in program evaluation techniques. I am a frequent trainer at the American Evaluation Association annual conference. I have extensive experience in group facilitation in community development, evaluation and research settings.
|2019||Evaluating Youth and Career Programs in Science-Related Institutions: A Step-by-Step Process to Assess and Improve Science Educator Programs (distributed to science centers at the 2009 Association of Science and Technology Centers conference and available on Kindle and in print).|
|2019||The ONE Book: Oneness in hundreds of hues gleaming in nations and ages (with Ron Jorgensen) a collection of 1,000 expressions of oneness from 500 authors, 100 nations and 130 settings.|
|2019||Be(e): A Meditation (available on Kindle and in print).|
|2001||International Learning Community Design and Implementation: An evaluation of the University of Washington – Auroville, India Program on Sustainability, Community and International Cooperation.|
|1993||“Cultural and Environmental Sustainability in an Evolving Landscape: Lessons from Auroville,” Proceedings of the International Conference on Sustainable Village-Based Development, Maurice Albertson and Miriam Shinn, eds.|
|1991||Consensus and Community Building: A Model Needs Assessment Process for Community Groups, Community Development Monograph Series #53, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.|
|1989||“Social Service Priorities From the Perspective of Users: Methodologies and Results,” Papers and Proceedings of the Applied Geography Conferences, vol. 12, 1989, pp. 54-60.|
|1986||“Attribute Preferences and the Non-Metropolitan Migration Decision”, The Annals of Regional Science (with Richard Morrill and Jeanne Downing) Vol. XX, No. 1, pp. 33-53.|
SELECTED AWARDS AND HONORS
|1996||Governor’s Smart Growth Award for developing the state’s best Pollution Prevention Program, a community development approach and guidebook for groundwater protection.|
|1994||Thomas Jefferson Award, given by the four-campus system of the University of Colorado to the person who best advances the ideals of Thomas Jefferson. These include a strong sense of individual civic responsibility, a broad concern for the advancement of higher education, a deep commitment to the welfare and rights of the individual, and a lively interest in literature, art and science.|
|1993||Governor’s Productivity Award (with Bob Kistner) for developing and administering the most productive program among all state government units (an internship program to prepare young professionals for careers in natural hazard mitigation while serving communities across Colorado.|