Kathryn Newcomer is a professor in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at the George Washington University where she teaches graduate level courses on program evaluation and research methods. She was founding director of the Trachtenberg school in 2003 and served as its director for 14 years. She is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, and currently serves on the Comptroller General’s Educators’ Advisory Panel. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Data Foundation Board, as a Senior Fellow of the Geo-Tech Center of the Atlantic Council, and as a member of the Advisory Board of the Volcker Alliance's Public Service Education Accelerator (PSE Accelerator). She served as an elected member of the Board of Directors of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) (2012–2015), and served as AEA president for 2017. Kathryn served as President of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) for 2006–2007.
Kathryn has published several books, including: Evidence Building and Evaluation in Government (2022), Federal Inspectors General: Truth Seekers in Turbulent Times (2020), The Handbook of Practical Program Evaluation (4 editions, with the last one in 2015) and Transformational Leadership: Leading Change in Public and Nonprofit Agencies (June 2008), a volume of New Directions for Public Program Evaluation, Using Performance Measurement to Improve Public and Nonprofit Programs (1997), and over 70 articles in journals including the Public Administration Review and the American Journal of Evaluation. She has published three research reports for the IBM Center for the Business of Government, including Making Federal Agencies Evidence-Based: The Key Role of Learning in February 2021.
Dr. Newcomer was recently selected by the board of the American Society for Public Administration’s Center for Accountability and Performance to receive the 2021 Joseph Wholey Distinguished Scholarship Award for her scholarly work and lifetime achievement in the areas of performance management, government accountability, and program evaluation.
She routinely conducts program evaluations for U.S. federal government agencies and nonprofit organizations, and conducts training on program evaluation in the U.S. and internationally. She is an internationally recognized expert on evidence-informed policy in government program evaluation and inspectors general in the U.S. and regularly consults with government agencies.
She has received many awards for her teaching and service including: The Elmer Staats Award for Achievements in Government Accountability, awarded by the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration, May 8, 2008; the Peter Konwerski Award for Service, May, 2013; the Oscar and Shoshanna Trachtenberg Prize for Service, 2014; and the Duncombe Excellence in Doctoral Education Award from NASPAA in 2016.
She has served on the following Committees of the National Academy of Sciences: NRC Committee on Approaches for an Evaluation of the NIST/NRC Postdoctoral Research Associateships Program (2008); NRC Review of United States Institute of Peace Senior Fellows Program (2008); NRC Committee on Laboratory Security and Personnel Assurance Systems for Laboratories Conducting Research on Biological Select Agents and Toxins (2009); the NRC External Evaluation of National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (2010-11) ); the Review of Specialized Degree-Granting Graduate Programs of the Department of Defense in STEM and Management (2014); and Committee on Assessing the Minerva Research Initiative and the Contribution of Social Science to Addressing Security Concerns (2018-2019).
She has lectured and offered training on program evaluation in: Israel, Egypt, Italy, China, the UK, the UAE, Brazil, Honduras, Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Canada, Australia, Krgyzistan, Poland, Panama, Uganda, Taiwain, and Malaysia.
Kathryn earned a B.S. in secondary education and an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Kansas, and her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Iowa.