Meet Anita Drever, Flamboyan Director of Evaluation and Learning

April 14, 2015 02:17 PM
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Flamboyan Director of Evaluation and Learning

Anita Drever, Flamboyan Director of Evaluation and Learning

Anita Drever is the Director of Evaluation and Learning at Flamboyan Foundation. In this role she provides strategic leadership to Flamboyan’s research initiatives and directs the implementation of the Family Engagement Partnership program evaluation.

Anita reflects on her role after several month’s on the job:

“I’m excited to be at Flamboyan because I believe deeply in the potential to affect change through the building of trusting relationships between teachers and parents.Parents support children’s learning directly in many ways–by making sure they get their homework done, by reading aloud to them, by helping them practice the skills they are learning in school, and more. Parents also influence their children’s learning indirectly—through their attitudes towards their children’s schools and towards learning in general. Research indicates that if one wants to influence youth’s learning behavior, a partnership between school and family must exist. I think Flamboyan’s family engagement work accomplishes this successfully.

I enjoy the work I get to do day-to-day, thinking through research questions and research approaches in an effort to help Flamboyan get the information they really need. To be able to do this, however, I need to be close to the work, on the ground, and have the opportunity to listen deeply to both program implementers and program participants. Fortunately, this is something the culture at Flamboyan encourages.

Best of all, however, is the opportunity Flamboyan affords me to work with an exceptional group of colleagues. The Flamboyan team is smart, committed, and truly research-driven—they don’t just consume research, they use it. There’s nothing more gratifying to an applied researcher than knowing that the insights he or she unearths will be translated into program changes that will hopefully improve outcomes for kids in our community. I feel very lucky to have joined such a great team!”

Prior to joining Flamboyan, Anita was the Director of Applied Research at the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) where she led CFED’s research team, and directed research and evaluation projects for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, and others. While at CFED, Anita became deeply involved in research examining parents’ influence on children’s financial capability.

Anita brings over a dozen years of academic and applied research experience to her work at Flamboyan. While a professor of geography at the University of Tennessee, Anita authored over a dozen peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and received funding from the National Science Foundation and the German Institute for Economic Research. After leaving academia to become an applied researcher, Anita directed local, state and national evaluations of youth programs while based at the University of Wyoming and Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.

Anita received her Ph.D. in urban and population geography and bachelor’ degrees in geography and political science from the University of California, Los Angeles.