Welcome to Evaluation Solutions, the blog of Grant Evaluation, Inc.

Follow us on Twitter: username GrantEval.

I’m Matt Peterson, vice-president of GEI, and this is our blog, which aims at informing our clients and others with similar interests. Over time we’ll use this space to initiate conversations about what evaluation is, what it can and what it should do, and what we’re learning.  Be patient with us as our website/blog evolves.

Here at GEI we all have our own areas of special interest. Although we work with all kinds of folks on all kinds of fascinating evaluation work, I get particularly excited about evaluation as it serves foundations, non-profits and local education agencies in efforts to shape public policy, civic education, U.S. history and the humanities.

Over the last decade I’ve worked intermittently as a research associate and project manager for our company, formerly known as Evaluation Solutions and before that as Research & Evaluation for Philanthropy. Prior to moving back to the east coast, I was Assistant to the Directors at the Rose Institute of State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College. In Claremont I worked closely with professors, consultants and staff and provided day-to-day management of student teams on projects in areas of fiscal, regulatory and demographic analysis as well as survey research. I also developed and implemented plans for expansion and new projects while grant writing and editing publications and reports. Among other things, Abhi Nemani and I created the Rose Report blog. I met a lot of inspiring and helpful entrepreneurial people of good will, like Ben Casnocha and Andrew Lee.

While engaged in research for National Demographics Corporation, Bill Goodwin and I were patient enough with each other to start our own LLC providing political and cultural research and analysis including online publishing, social network mapping, and opposition research, with a focus on producing understandable, visual results. As part of a generous grant from a foundation, Bill and I also developed the prototype and plans for a structured wiki and transparency website and corresponding non-profit called WikiShine, which could provide the dynamic, interactive quantitative and qualitative information that ordinary citizens need to evaluate the effectiveness of their local units of government nationwide.

Dedicated to classical liberal arts education, I received my B.A. from the “great books” school Thomas Aquinas College and my Masters from Claremont Graduate University, where I am a Ph.D. candidate.  My dissertation is on the notion of the public good in the debates over the ratification of the United States Constitution.  I’ve taught college seminars on Herodotus’ Histories and the Lincoln-Douglas debates as well as a freshman writing class that served as an introduction to Logic and Rhetoric.

I live at the top of one of the rolling hills of the southern tier in western New York, where sometimes our two kids and the weather allow my talented wife to grow organic vegetables.

Email me at matt -at- grantevaluation.com

Although my personal website is password protected right now, you could always follow me on twitter if interested.