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Theresa Esparrago Lieu

Senior Associate

As a trained sociologist, I am fascinated by the intersection of individuals and complex living systems. Shaped by my personal upbringing and experience, I constantly find myself wondering how beliefs, cultures, and values inform both individual and group behavior. I use this curiosity as fuel to design evaluations and research studies that help clients identify their goals and strategies, learn about the impact they are making, and the processes that got them there.

I believe that good, participatory action research is rooted in equity, integrates diverse perspectives and provides venues for meaningful participation for all. As I constantly strive to do this, I frequently draw upon my decade-long experience in the education reform arena, and the knowledge and tools I’ve gained along the way to support people on a journey of ongoing learning. I am a member of the Funder and Evaluator Affinity Network, where I participate in the Strengthening and Diversifying the Evaluation Pipeline working group.

I am almost as busy outside of work as I am when I’m on the clock. Outside of the Informing Change you can find me chasing after my silly kids, running on the Bay Trail, trying out new recipes in my kitchen, or in search of the perfect mid-level bottle of wine.

  • Complex systems change and systems thinking
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Equitable evaluation
  • Support and access to education
  • Youth and 21st century skill development
Technical Specialties
  • Participatory approaches to research and evaluation
  • Qualitative tool development and analysis
  • Facilitation and stakeholder engagement
Prior Experience

Senior Associate for Equity and Impact at ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career

  • MA in Sociology of Education from New York University
  • BA in Sociology, with a minor in Asian American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley

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