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206 Burton Hall
178 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

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Undergraduate Studies:

Graduate Studies:


Jean King

Professor; Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute (MESI) Director

178 Pillsbury Dr SE
242 Burton Hall


Download Curriculum Vitae [PDF]

Ph.D., Cornell University, curriculum and instruction
M.S., Cornell University, curriculum and instruction
A.B., Cornell University, English


Areas of Interest

Interactive evaluation practice
Participatory evaluation
Evaluation capacity building
Evaluator competencies
Evaluator education


My current research centers in three areas: evaluation capacity building (ECB), evaluator competencies, and the education of evaluators. The ultimate goal of my study of ECB as it has evolved has been to determine how to foster and support evaluation processes--by whatever name--in educational and social service organizations over time. The terms I use to describe what I study have evolved, from action research and process evaluation, to participatory or collaborative evaluation (where evaluators work with program staff and participants), and finally to evaluation capacity building (purposeful efforts to build evaluation infrastructure and skills into an organization, also known as organizational learning). My commitment to the development and study of evaluator competencies began almost 20 years ago after working with a group of U of MN graduate students to develop and initially validate the world’s first set of competencies for program evaluators. Now, as chair of a Competencies Task Force, I have led a two-year process to create and finalize a set of competencies for the American Evaluation Association, which will become a topic for research on evaluation practice and the training of evaluators, my third area of scholarly interest. Having taught novice evaluators the basics of program evaluation for many years, the question of how best to do so provides multiple topics and opportunities for research that can inform education and training.

Courses Taught

  • OLPD 5501, Principles and Methods of Program Evaluation
  • OLPD 5502, Theories and Models of Program Evaluation


  • Alva and Gunnar Myrdal Award for Evaluation Practice American Evaluation Association (AEA), 1995
  • Robert Beck Award for Faculty Excellence, University of Minnesota, College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), 1999
  • Robert Ingle Award for Extraordinary Service, AEA, 1999; Distinguished Teaching Award, University of Minnesota, CEHD, 2002
  • Community Service Award, University of Minnesota, CEHD, 2005
  • Award for Outstanding Contributions to Post-baccalaureate, Graduate and Professional Education, University of Minnesota, 2009
  • Educational Leadership Award, University of Minnesota, CEHD, 2012

Professional Affiliations

  • American Evaluation Association
  • MN Evaluation Association

Selected Publications

  1. Podems, D., & King, J. A. (Eds.) (2014). Professionalizing evaluation: A global perspective on evaluator competencies [Special issue]. Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, 28(3).

  2. King, J. A., & Stevahn, L. (2013). Interactive evaluation practice: Mastering the interpersonal dynamics of program evaluation. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications

  3. King, J. A., & Rohmer-Hirt, J. (2011). Internal evaluation in American public school districts: The importance of externally-driven accountability mandates. New Directions for Evaluation, 132, 73-86.

  4. Stevahn, L., & King, J. A. (2010). Needs assessment phase III: Taking action for change (Book 5). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

  5. Johnson, K., Greenseid, L. O., Toal, S. A., King, J. A., Lawrenz, F., & Volkov, B. (2009). Research on evaluation use: A review of the empirical literature from 1986 to 2005. American Journal of Evaluation, 30(3), 377-410.

  6. King, J. A., & Ehlert, J. (2008). What we learned from three evaluations that involved stakeholders. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 34(4), 194-200.

  7. Toal, S. A., King, J. A., Johnson, K., & Lawrenz, F. (2008). The unique character of involvement in multi-site evaluation settings. Evaluation and Program Planning, 32(2), 91-98.

  8. King, J. A. (2008). Bringing evaluative learning to life. American Journal of Evaluation, 29(2), 151-155.

  9. King, J. A. (2007). Developing evaluation capacity through process use. New Directions for Evaluation, 116, 45-59.

  10. Volkov, B., & King, J. A. (2007). A checklist for building organizational evaluation capacity. Evaluation Checklists website, Western Michigan University.

  11. Stevahn, L., King, J. A., Ghere, G., & Minnema, J. (2005). Establishing essential competencies for program evaluators. American Journal of Evaluation, 26(1), 43-59.

  12. Updated March 2014