Thought Partners for
Social Innovators

The ORS Impact team has earned a global reputation for leadership, insight and innovation. We work collaboratively with our clients, bringing our distinctive expertise in planning, measurement and evaluation to their most vexing challenges.

Melissa Howlett , MPA (she/her)


Mel’s work in evaluation is driven by a strong sense of social justice and a belief in the power of evaluation to promote learning and facilitate social change. She excels in analyzing complex quantitative and qualitative data and presenting findings in ways that are understandable and actionable.

Mel earned her Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy with a focus on Policy Analysis and Evaluation. During her graduate studies, she conducted research with Evans Policy Analysis and Research (EPAR) to inform the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Agriculture, Financial Services for the Poor, and Gender Equality strategies. She also worked as a contractor for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s Evaluation and Learning team to support ongoing MLE work with various strategies.

Sample Projects:

  • Learning Partner to the Digital Democracy Portfolio at Democracy Fund, including conducting annual focus groups with grantees to facilitate collective learning and inform the foundation's strategy
  • Causal Evaluation for Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Policy Department, including applying process tracing to three policies
  • Learning & Evaluation Partner to New Pluralists, including developing their Theory of Change and Learning & Evaluation Plan and conducting a baseline evaluation