In 2002 AEA began an Ambassadors program at the Annual Conference. Ambassadors are experienced AEA members who volunteer to reach out to first time conference attendees and anyone with questions. 

If you are seeking help at the conference, look for the 'ambassador' ribbon on attendee nametags to find someone who knows the ropes - or where to point you to find out what you need. Ambassadors can also assist you in connecting with resources and people who share your interests. 

If you are a regular attendee at the conference, please consider serving the Association through becoming an AEA Ambassador. Take a moment to review the questions and answers below. If you decide you would like to serve as an ambassador, please contact the AEA office at or 888-232-2275 or 508-748-3326. The schedule of ambassador timeslots may be found at the end of this page.

Ambassadors: Questions and Answers

Why does AEA have an Ambassador program? Feedback from recent AEA conferences suggests that first time attendees, as well as some of those that are returning, can feel isolated or unsure of how to get the most out of the meeting. The data further suggest that many attendees are seeking networking opportunities – but are unsure as to how to reach out to others in the field. The Ambassador program is one way we are addressing these issues.

What are the qualifications of an Ambassador? Ambassadors have attended at least three AEA conferences and have been AEA members for at least four years. They are outgoing and ready to meet new people and answer questions about the Association and the Conference.

What are the obligations of being an Ambassador? At the Conference, they volunteer for a single one to two hour scheduled shift. Ambassadors also wear an “Ambassador” ribbon throughout the conference indicating their willingness to answer questions at any time.

What do Ambassadors do during their scheduled shift? During receptions, Ambassadors seek out attendees with “first time attendee” ribbons and/or those who are not engaged with others. When at the registration area, Ambassadors are out among the registrants (not behind the desk) – particularly those waiting in line or standing alone. During the Saturday networking luncheon, Ambassadors act as hosts and facilitate discussion at each table. Whether at a reception, at registration, or at lunch, Ambassadors welcome attendees, may offer them a drink, ask about their work and reasons for attending, and recommend upcoming events or ways to get involved.

What do Ambassadors do the rest of the time? Ambassadors wear “Ambassador” ribbons throughout the Conference. They are willing to answer questions at any time. During the newcomers orientation, attendees will be encouraged to seek out Ambassadors should they have any questions. Ambassadors are looking for ways to help attendees get involved in AEA and the Conference. They may invite new attendees to join them for dinner, encourage them to attend a TIG meeting, or exchange business cards for follow-up after the conference. Great Ambassadors take a moment to stop and chat with attendees in the elevator or when sitting next to a first time attendee while waiting for a session to begin. Great Ambassadors connect attendees with each other – introducing newcomers to AEA leaders or others in their field who might be interested in their work.

What are the benefits of being an Ambassador? Ambassadors get to meet new members and expand their network of colleagues. They help the Association through making the Conference and AEA more welcoming. They help individual attendees by providing a way to connect with others and access information. Ambassadors serving during a reception receive tickets they may use to purchase drinks for new attendees. Ambassadors serving during the Saturday networking luncheon receive a free ticket to the luncheon.

Ambassadors: Schedule

Tuesday November 4: 3:45 – 5:30 PM (Registration Greeter)

1. Rob Fischer (US, Center on Urban Poverty and Social Change)

2. David Bernstein (US, Montgomery County Public Schools)


Tuesday November 4: 5:30 – 7:15 PM (Registration Greeter)

1. Darlene Russ-Eft (US, Oregon State University)

2. Ellen Taylor-Powell (US, University of Wisconsin Madison)


Wednesday November 5: 7:00 – 9:00 AM (Registration Greeter)

1. Jack Barnette (US, University of Iowa)

2. ______________________


Wednesday November 5: 6:15 – 8:00 PM (Evening Reception and Information Fair)

1. Leslie Cooksy (US, University of Delaware)

2. Rodney Hopson (US, Duquesne University)

3. Melanie Hwalek (US, SPEC Associates)

4. Jordan Horowitz (US, WestEd)

5. John Jones (US, Idaho State University)

6. George Julnes (US, Utah State University)

7. Katye Perry (US, Oklahoma State University)

8. Michael Scriven (New Zealand, Auckland University)

9. Elaine Vaurio (US, US General Accounting Office)

10. Deborah Wasserman (US, Community Research Partners)

11. _______________________


Thursday November 6: 7:30 – 9:00 AM (Registration Greeter)

1. Lois-ellin Datta (US, Datta Analysis)

2. Lyn Shulha (Canada, Queen's University)


Thursday November 6: 6:15 – 8:00 PM (Evening Reception & Poster Exhibition)

1. Stan Capela (US, HeartShare Human Services, AEA Board Member)

2. Jody Fitzpatrick (US, University of Colorado-Denver)

3. George Grob (US, Dept of Health & Human Services)

4. Summers Kalishman (US, University of New Mexico)

5. Morris Lai (US, University of Hawai`i)

6. Michael Lambur (US, Virginia Tech)

7. Gene Lyle (US, Ramsey County Human Services)

8. Mel Mark (US, Penn State, Editor - American Journal of Evaluation)

9. Jonny Morell (US, Altarum, Chair - AEA Electronic Communications Committee)

10. Saumitra Sengupta (US and India, City & County of San Francisco)

11. _______________________


Friday November 7: 6:15 – 8:00 PM (Evening Reception & International Auction)

1. Michael Bamberger (US, Independent Consultant)

2. Gail Barrington (Canada, Barrington Research Group Inc)

3. Valerie Caracelli (US, US General Accounting Office)

4. Mary Church (US, Pacific Resources for Education & Learning (PREL), Co-chair - International and Cross-cultural TIG)

5. David Fetterman (US, Stanford University, Chair - Collaborate/Participatory/Empowerment TIG)

6. Alexey Kuzmin (Russia, Process Consulting Company)

7. Donna Mertens (US, Gallaudet University, AEA Representative to the International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation (IOCE))

8. Thereza Penna-Firme (Brazil, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro)

9. Andy Rowe (US and Canada, GHK International, Chair - AEA International Committee)

10. Vathsala Stone (US and Brazil, University of Buffalo)

11. _______________________


Saturday November 8: 12:40 - 1:40 PM (Networking Luncheon)

1. Jack Barnette (US, University of Iowa)

2. Kathleen Bolland (US, University of Alabama)

3. Jo Ann Doino-Ingersoll (US, Strategic Research, LLC)

4. Patrick Grasso (US, The World Bank)

5. Jennifer Greene (US, University of Illinois, Co-editor - New Directions for Evaluation)

6. Jules Marquart (US, Tennessee State Government)

7. Mansoor Kazi (UK, University of Huddersfield, Co-chair - Social Work TIG)

8. Carol Thiessen Mowbray (US, University of Michigan)

9. Judith Ottoson (US, Georgia State University)

10. Michael Quinn Patton (US, Union Institute & University)

11. Sharon Rallis (US, University of Connecticut, AEA Board Member)

12. Debra Rog (US, Vanderbilt University)

13. Gretchen Rossman (US, University of Massachusetts at Amherst)

14. Jim Rugh (US, CARE International)

15. Nick Smith (US, Syracuse University, AEA President-elect)

16. Charles Thomas (US, George Mason University)

17. Edith Thomas (US, US Department of Agriculture)

18. ______________________

Would you like to serve as an ambassador? Please contact the AEA office at or 888-232-2275 or 508-748-3326.