Wendy McClanahan  President/CEO

Wendy McClanahan

Wendy McClanahan is President and Founder of MAI. Over twenty years, Dr. McClanahan has used her research and evaluation expertise to help programs, initiatives, and organizations identify and maximize their desired impact. She has a reputation for conducting research with and not on her clients and their constituents, who values the assets of her clients and the people with whom they work, and who helps her clients build their own internal capacity for learning.  

Over her career, Dr. McClanahan has led evaluations of out-of-school time and mentoring programs, violence and crime reduction programs, and employment and training programs. Currently, Dr. McClanahan co-leads research with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s Youth Arts Initiative (YAI). In addition to producing field-building reports for YAI, the design includes five rounds of formative feedback each of which includes real-time on-site debriefings, written site-specific memos, and initiative-wide formative feedback. The recent redesign of the initiative was guided by the needs of participating Clubs and will share lessons learned with them and the field quickly to help guide programming during the COVID-19 pandemic. Wendy is also serving as the principal investigator on the mixed-methods evaluation of the Work Progress Program (WPP) for the NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA) and the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity (NYC Opportunity). In addition, Wendy currently co-leads the Pew Fund’s Evaluation Capacity Building Initiative (ECBI) and serves as a coach in the initiative. While Wendy participates in all aspects of ECBI, including curriculum development and coaching, she supports and provides technical assistance for all the initiative’s coaches. 

In the past, she has served as the principal investigator of the impact evaluation of Philadelphia’s Youth Violence Reduction Partnership (YVRP), which has worked to reduce youth homicides in Philadelphia for over a decade. She was also the principal investigator of the multi-year Elev8 initiative for eight years (since 2008) and guided the evaluation process and technical assistance efforts, which aimed to understand how Elev8 sites and programs can strengthen their work to support positive trajectories for participants. As a result of this effort, Elev8 adopted one of the most comprehensive data collection efforts of the community schools movement.

Prior to forming McClanahan Associates, Inc., Dr. McClanahan spent eighteen years at Public/Private Ventures, the last seven of which she served as senior vice president for research and evaluation. Dr. McClanahan received her Ph.D. in criminology from the University of Pennsylvania, holds an M.S. in human development from the Pennsylvania State University and a B.A. in psychology from Lehigh University.

  • You can find Wendy’s curriculum vitae (CV) here
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