Using a global network of social scientists of the highest quality, the firm creates teams to respond to the unique needs of specific projects.
Beth Osborne Daponte, Ph.D.
With a Ph.D. from the Social Science Division, University of Chicago, and a B.A. in Mathematics and Sociology (double major) from Boston University, Beth Osborne Daponte has years of experience in working with non-profits and NGOs in helping them improve their performance. Highlights of her career include authoring Evaluation Essentials (Wiley, 2008); as the Chief of Section for the Office of Internal Oversight Services of the United Nations; Policy Analyst at the Human Development Report Office, United Nations Development Programme; Lecturer, Yale School of Management, Program on Non-Profit Organizations & Senior Research Scholar, Yale University; Associate Research Professor, Carnegie Mellon University; Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh; and Demographic Analyst, Center for International Research, US. Census Bureau. Recent substantial evaluation engagements include leading a team of senior evaluators to review the UN’s Independent System-Wide Evaluation initiative; collaborating with Devereux Consulting on the Community Needs Assessment of Frederick, Maryland, being the lead author on ther 2020 Human Development Report of Kuwait, and reviewing country coordination issues for an international organization. Beth offers expertise in project management, monitoring, evaluation, Theory of Change, and demographic analysis.
Erik Devereux, Ph.D.
Erik Devereux, Ph.D received his doctorate in Political Science from the University of Texas-Austin and brings to SSC senior consulting services specializing in social science-based research methods including interviews, focus groups and surveys, institutional research, financial budgeting and planning, and data analysis. Beth and Erik work very closely together. Erik’s recent client engagements for SSC include researching the “state of the art” of interventions to improve child well-being for Allies for Children (Allegheny County, PA), providing technical assistance and analysis to UNFPA on their Violence Against Women research initiative, and serving as technical lead on UN OCHA’s annual partners survey (10,000 respondents worldwide surveyed online in five languages). Erik is also instrumental in a project that involves provide expert analysis and testimony for a confidential client. Erik provides advice to higher education institutions and scientific societies on matters of curriculum and strategy. Other past clients include the Mid-Atlantic Water Program, the American Society for Public Administration, the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis, multiple curriculum-related projects for the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, and an inventory of practices to improve diversity among university advancement personnel conducted for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Erik has taught public policy analysis at Carnegie Mellon University and American University, and is the author of a new textbook on using theories of change in policy analysis.
Thomas Cooke, Ph.D.
Dr. Cooke brings to SSC topical expertise in the social and economic consequences of geographic mobility within developed countries, the analysis of spatial inequality, and the demographic dynamics of small areas. Tom’s methodological expertise is in conducting causal analyses using panel data, registration data, and linked administrative data. He holds a Ph.D. in Geography from Indiana University and since 1994 has been on the faculty of the University of Connecticut. He has directed UCONN’s Urban Studies program, the Center for Population Research, and Connecticut’s US Census Data Center. In 2013, the American Association of Geographers honored Tom with its Research Excellence Award in Population Geography. In 2014, Tom was a U.S. Fulbright Scholar at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. The National Science Foundation, SSRC, ESRC, the Brookings Institution, and the Sloan Foundation have supported Tom’s research. Tom has published in leading social science journals including Demography, the Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Dr. Cooke’s regularly consults for numerous state and local agencies.
Lillian Cruz, B.A., M.B.A.
Lillian Cruz, B.A., M.B.A., brings to Social Science Consultants considerable professional experience in nonprofit management at the executive level. In addition to founding a Connecticut agency that serves Latino persons with complex developmental disabilities, she has worked in philanthropy, first as a program officer for the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and later as Director of Community Impact at the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. While at TCFGNH, she created and managed its grant evaluation program, investments in urban neighborhoods, capacity building, and other special initiatives. Lillian has served on multiple local and national boards, including The National Council of La Raza, Komen CT, CT Funders’ Collaborative for Hispanics in Philanthropy, and CT Association of Non Profits. Lillian attended Wesleyan University and The University of Hartford. Lillian consults to non profits on grant writing, strategic planning, board governance, development, diversity and human resources. She has produced institutional, strategic, evaluation and fund plans, and is adept at public presentations and workshops.
Richard Lynn, MFA
Richard Lynn, MFA, brings to SSC a rare and compelling combination of arts production and high level community activism. With respect to production, he progresses events through the conceptualization phase and achieves events’ related fundraising, production and staffing. Working with Carnegie Mellon University, he was a groundbreaker in creating the first virtual reality theater in 1996. He has taken his production skills and has applied them in his work on various community and environmental projects in Southern New England. For example, he organized the towns of the Narragansett Bay to oppose a liquefied natural gas facility planned in the bay. He created the Congress of Councils (of town councils in Rhode Island and Massachusetts who share the Narragansett Bay. He has produced large events that have convened US Senators and Representatives, as well as state and local elected officials. Dick has worked as Executive Producer, National Productions, at Twin Cities (Minneapolis) Public Television, for WQED in Pittsburgh, and holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts.
Jana Asher, Ph.D.
Ms. Asher holds a Ph.D. in Statistics from Carnegie Mellon University. She brings to Social Science Consultants extensive experience working with NGOs and skills in data analysis. She also provides training in data analysis and in displaying data. Jana has published in the fields of statistics and human rights and is expert in using state-of-the-art methods and technology to examine data. Jana was the founder and executive director of StatAid. Past clients include the United Nations, American Bar Association, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Physicians for Human Rights. In addition to working domestically, she has worked in Iraq, Sierra Leone, and East Timor
Rea Simigiannis brings to Social Science Consultants expertise in Human Rights and NGO processes. Rea’s experience includes former Executive Director of the Human Rights Institute of South Africa, researcher for Impunity Watch on the role of memorials in combating impunity, assessor for community projects for the Foundation for Human Rights, and the Head of the Department of Community Outreach for the South Africa Human Rights Commission. Rea also has expertise in gender equality, and was an instrumental part of Social Science Consultants’ team that conducted an Evaluability Assessment of UN-Women’s Pacific Multi-Country Office strategic plan and workplan.
Patty Chang, Ph.D.
With a Ph.D. in International Relations from Oxford University and an MIA in International Security Policy from Columbia University, Dr. Chang provides expertise in peacekeeping and international security policy. She has particular expertise in the areas of the micro-dynamics of civil wars, conflict management and peacebuilding, especially arms control, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants, and security sector reform. She has provided strategic and operational advice to international and non-profit organizations and government agencies on the design and evaluation of peacekeeping and peacebuilding programs, conflict policy assessments, and research on the impact of gender mainstreaming in peacekeeping operations. Past clients include the United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Department of Political Affairs, the United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services, and the Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research. She is an Adjunct Professor at the NYU Center for Global Affairs and the Department of Politics, where she provides courses on conflict and cooperation.
Maya Beasley, Ph.D.
Maya Beasley brings to SSC expertise in issues related to educational inequalities, diversity and inclusion within organizations and communities, as well as racial and ethnic conflict. Maya holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Stanford University
and an undergraduate degree from Harvard University. She is the author of Opting Out: Why America Is Losing Out On Its Young Black Elite (2011, University of Chicago Press) and is writing her second book, The Social Portfolio: Building Up and On The Capital of Minority and Female Professionals, which examines the occupational clustering of women and people of color in contemporary American
society. Dr. Beasley has consulted on a variety of issues in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Recent engagements include a
statistical analysis of the demographic profiles of U.S.-based philanthropies and NGOs aimed at fostering greater transparency in this sector; an in-depth analysis of senior staff and board member characteristics and qualifications of major environmental organizations; and the design of a pipeline initiative for mid-career and senior staff of color in non-profit organizations.
She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Connecticut where she has taught research methods for seven years and serves on the Board of Advisors for the Africana Studies Institute. In addition to her academic and consulting work, Dr. Beasley has provided reports and interviews for a variety of outlets including The Glass Hammer, Huffington Live, The Baltimore Sun, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.
John Encandela, Ph.D.
John Encandela, PhD, brings to SSC experience in health-related research and evaluation. With a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in sociology, he has focused on evaluation and research of health care and services for traditionally vulnerable populations, as well as assessment of training of healthcare professionals. He is Associate Director of the Teaching and Learning Center at the Yale School of Medicine and is a member of Yale’s Psychiatry faculty. Dr. Encandela has provided training in HIV/AIDS-related program monitoring and evaluation for field offices in Asia, Africa, and Latin America for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Global AIDS Program. Before that, he was Director of Evaluative Research for Pennsylvania’s HIV Community Prevention initiative through a contract with the state’s Department of Health while at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health. He has conducted studies of health and social services for people with serious mental illness, the elderly, and children with chronic illnesses, and has offered evaluation design and implementation services at all levels—local, regional, state, national, and international, as well as public and private. He has particular expertise in qualitative and mixed-methods evaluations.
Nabina Panday graduated from The Fletcher School, Tufts University with an M.A. in International Affairs and Washington University in St. Louis with a B.A. in Economics. She has 5 years of experience consulting with the United Nations (DPKO, OIOS) and its agencies (UNDP, UNCDF, UNESCAP) for projects in research, knowledge management and program evaluation. At the United Nations, Nabina has worked on both thematic/global and country/mission-specific evaluations, data analysis and projects covering peacekeeping, post-conflict economic development, gender mainstreaming and inclusive financial sectors in LDCs. Her skill-set includes data collection and analysis, survey design and analysis, interview mapping and creation of evaluation tools (logic models, management scoring/performance scoring matrixes and questionnaires). Prior to the United Nations, Nabina worked in Nepal with NGOs focused on women’s empowerment and rights of indigenous people. Nabina is fluent in both English and French, with working knowledge of Nepali /Hindi and basic Arabic and German.
Noah Daponte-Smith provides research support on occasion to SSC’s projects. Noah, currently a Ph.D. student at Harvard University in Government, graduated from Yale University with a double-major in History and Political Science. Noah provides statistical and research support to SSC. Noah has also worked as an RA for Yale professors, as a paid correspondent for the Stratford Star, and has written for the Yale Daily News, Forbes, and The National Review. Noah is an alumnus of The Hopkins School.
Stephanie McLaughlin, Research Coordinator, has worked with SSC since 2013. Stephanie is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Department of Political Science and provides support in the area of convening focus groups and interviews. Prior to her work with SSC, she worked as a consultant for Sanford Bernstein and Chase Manhattan. She is the proud parent of three high school students and a freshman at Harvard University.
Alberto Posso is a Researcher and Senior Lecturer in Economics at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), where he has been employed since 2009. Alberto holds a PhD in Economics from the Australian National University with specializations in labor economics, development, international trade and applied econometrics. His work aims at generating evidence based policy advice to, mainly, developing countries at both the national and community level. Geographically, his area of specialization, as evidenced by publications, presentations, and consulting work, covers East Asia, Latin America and the Pacific.
Jeff Solomon, Ph.D.
Jeff Solomon, Ph.D. holds a doctorate in medical anthropology from The American University and is a highly published expert in qualitative methodology. He brings to SSC deep experience in evaluation, health services, and public health research. In his career, Jeff has focused on improving healthcare outcomes especially for patients from vulnerable populations. His work encompasses a wide range of areas and diseases including healthcare quality, performance measurement, patient safety, primary care, infectious disease, chronic illnesses, oncology and behavioral medicine, and it includes formative, process and summative program and policy evaluations. Jeff is expert in NVivo data management/coding software, and is skilled in working with patients and clinicians. Past projects he has worked on have resulted in program and policy recommendations, not only on health care implementation but also on insurance issues, to leaders of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), executives of healthcare delivery systems, department heads and clinicians.
Neil Sherman brings to SSC expertise in writing, not-for-profit management and volunteer enablement, and Economic Development. With an MA in English from SUNY-Albany and a BA in English from the University of Toronto, Neil has deep experience both in writing and public administration. Neil currently teaches writing at Quinnipiac University and has taught Business and Technical Writing at the University of New Haven, where also he worked to establish the University’s online education program. He has also worked as President of the Stamford, CT Chamber of Commerce, where he formulated cooperative programs with business and governmental entities. Besides creating the organization’s communication and public relations activities, he helped usher in the Swiss Bank move to Stamford and created networking and educational programs for Stamford’s business community. He took the organization from 400 members to 1200 in five years, making it the largest Chamber of Commerce in Connecticut. He has also chaired the Connecticut Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, focusing on business community political issues in Hartford, CT and was on the Board of Directors of the Institutes for Organizational Management. Prior to his Stamford experience, as Vice President of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council (BRBC) he started the organization’s regional program by founding the Stratford Chamber of Commerce, where he increased membership by 30%, led revitalization efforts in a business district, and created education programs and opportunities for networking.
Will Moustakakis, Research Assistant, is studying the social sciences at Lafayette College. Will has provided support to SSC's Human Needs Assessment of Frederick County, Maryland, focusing on the issue of Substance Abuse Disorder. Will is excellent at delving into research topics. Will is a graduate of Northwest Catholic High School in West Hartford, CT and is an avid soccer fan.