Meet Amy Gray: A Q&A with Our Director of Learning and Evaluation

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July 18, 2023

Why did you want to work for Thousand Currents? What made you apply to the organization?

I loved Thousand Currents’ values and clarity of purpose! I also loved that Thousand Currents was actually implementing what we have come to know as best practices when it comes to partnerships and systemic change. Coming from a data, evaluation and learning background within the nonprofit sector, it has been frustrating to see the sector generate lessons that they cannot (or will not) learn. It is so wonderful to see Thousand Currents ready to try and also support others to do so.

What will be your new role at Thousand Currents? What gifts do you hope to share in your new role?

I’m the new (and the first ever) Director of Learning and Evaluation. I love my field so much, and I’m excited to bring my passion and enthusiasm for meaningful organizational learning here. I also know that many organizations are wary of evaluation, for very good reasons – so I want to share why and how evidence and evaluation can be relevant, meaningful, even fun!

What inspires you to work within philanthropy and what shifts do you envision to bring through your work?

There are so many groups working on changes we desperately need, who fly below the radar only because they may not conform to what philanthropists feel comfortable supporting. In addition, especially in the US, there is so much funding that could be redistributed and redirected – and should be. Within the evaluation and learning space, we have the opportunity to expose and to shift the power dynamics driving who decides what matters and what is impactful, and use this to continue increasing support for and partnerships with social movements within the Global South.

What is your vision or hope for the communities you work with and the work you’re doing?

My hope is that we are able to generate a more inclusive, more visible as well as a realistic understanding of how changes happen, and what success and impact look like, which is appropriately resourced and supported. I envision an inclusive space that embraces often overlooked groups already working on issues of climate, food and economic justice.

What do you do when you are not working at Thousand Currents?

Go on adventures with my son, listen to live music and try to cultivate my new love of gardening!

Deepa Ranganathan is the Editorial Manager at Thousand Currents. She likes to read, write, tell and listen stories everywhere she goes. Deepa Ranganathan