Faculty and staff

Jean A. King, Ph.D.
MESI Director Emerita

Jean A. King is a Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development at the University of Minnesota. She received her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Cornell University and taught junior high school English in upstate New York before moving to New Orleans, LA to become a professor at Tulane University. In 1989 she moved upriver to the University of Minnesota as the founding director of the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) in the College of Education and Human Development, a position she held for four years before working collaboratively to revitalize program evaluation instruction in the College.

King founded the Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute (MESI) in 1996 and has recently become its Director Emerita. With almost forty years of experience conducting evaluations, she has taught evaluation courses and mentored over 100 doctoral students to completion. A sought-after presenter and long-time writer on evaluation, she is the author of numerous articles, chapters, and reviews and retains an abiding interest in participatory evaluation and evaluation capacity building. Her latest book, Interactive Evaluation Practice: Mastering the Interpersonal Dynamics of Program Evaluation, co-authored with Laurie Stevahn, was published in 2013. She currently chairs the Competencies Task Force of the American Evaluation Association, the group charged with codifying the essential skills, knowledge and attitudes/dispositions essential to be an effective evaluator.

John LaVelle, Ph.D.
John LaVelle joined the Evaluation Studies faculty in August, 2017.

His empirical work has focused on the formal development of the evaluation profession, with a specialization on understanding international job markets and university systems that are set up to meet those needs. He has explored topics such as analyzing the international job market for evaluators, the university systems across the world that prepare evaluators, and methods for reaching out to potential applied researchers and evaluators.