Veronica Olazabal rejoined The Rockefeller Foundation in 2015. As Senior Adviser and Director on the Organizational Performance team, she brings cutting-edge strategy, measurement and learning practices to the Foundation’s work in energy, equity and economic opportunities, food, health and innovative finance.
Veronica has nearly 20 years of experience designing, implementing and leading global programs, research and evaluation. Her professional portfolio spans four continents and includes managing The Rockefeller Foundation’s programmatic investments in agriculture, climate change, and global health between 2007-2010 as a program associate.
Before rejoining in 2015, Ms. Olazabal worked with the Mastercard Foundation, social venture Nuru International, and The United Methodists Committee on Relief (UMCOR). She currently serves on various funding and advisory boards including most recently with the American Evaluation Association (AEA). Veronica is the recipient of several industry awards including the Alva and Gunnar Myrdal Evaluation Practice Award presented by AEA for exemplifying outstanding practice and contributing substantially to the field of evaluation in 2014, and the #Open For Good award presented by Candid (GuideStar + Foundation Center) for supporting transparency and open data policies in philanthropy. She has published in the American Journal of Evaluation, Evaluation, and the Stanford Social Innovations Review (SSIR).
Ms. Olazabal holds a B.A. in Communications and a master’s degree in Urban Policy and Planning from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Her credentials also include certificates in Data Science and Business Analytics through the Harvard Business School and is an alumni of the World Bank’s International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET).
May 19 2020Report Data and Feedback from the Field: Testing a Cost-Effective Mobile Solution The enormous global growth of mobile phone access presents an opportunity for funders, such as philanthropies and other development agencies, to easily connect, communicate, and listen to their clients and end-users. As shown by a pilot conducted by The Rockefeller Foundation with its grantee, Viamo, a well-designed interactive voice response (IVR) mobile survey can result […] May 18 2020Blog Post Accelerating Use of Remote Surveys During the Covid-19 Pandemic As the world reels from the effects of Covid-19 and widespread lockdowns, we collectively lack some of the basic information needed to navigate this crisis. Just as we are struggling with limited testing that obscures our understanding of the scale of Covid-19, we also are unable to answer basic questions about the human impacts – […] Caleb Ballou, Sasha Dichter, Venu Aggarwal, Veronica Olazabal Apr 29 2020Blog Post How Data About Americans’ Behavior Can Help Us to Safely Reopen the Economy In the past few weeks, data culled from various sources and through different methods have given insights about the Covid-19 pandemic and how it is affecting our lives in the United States. Direct polls of Americans have shown rising levels of anxiety about the virus, while cell phone data and Google’s Community Mobility Reports reveal how […] Kerry Bruce, Nick Dowling, Veronica Olazabal Apr 06 2020Blog Post Rewiring How We Measure Impact in a Post-COVID-19 World The rapid spread of a pandemic like COVID-19 stresses the importance of the availability of real-time and reliable data and calls for us to rewire our systems of how we predict and assess impact. One step toward achieving this paradigm shift is to bring together the capabilities of people who research and measure the impacts […] Michael Bamberger, Peter York, Veronica Olazabal Oct 16 2019Blog Post Weaving Learning into the Fabric of Philanthropy: Working Smarter in the Age of Big Data In this data-rich world, are we getting better at learning in philanthropy? Given the growing proliferation of data in our lives—big data, digital data, automated data, etc.—one might assume that our ability to work more effectively as a result of increased information grows at a comparable rate. But research and lived experience suggest otherwise. Consider […]