Veronica Olazabal rejoined The Rockefeller Foundation in 2015. As Managing 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.
Ms. Olazabal has 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 the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) and has recently been elected the next President of the American Evaluation Association (AEA), having served on the AEA Board of Directors between 2017-2019.
She is privileged to be the recipient of several industry awards and fellowships 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, the #Open For Good award presented by Candid (a philanthropy watchdog) for supporting transparency and open data policies in philanthropy and most recently, has become a Women in Power Fellow for the Belfer Center for Innovation and Impact at the 92Y in NYC. She has published in the American Journal of Evaluation, Evaluation, and the Stanford Social Innovations Review (SSIR) and contributed to numerous book chapters including most recently The Global Handbook of Impact Investing: Solving Global Problems Via Smarter Capital Markets Towards A More Sustainable Society published by Wiley.
Ms. Olazabal holds a bachelor’s in Communications, and master’s in Urban Policy and Planning from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and is completing a master’s in Sociocultural Anthropology at Columbia University. Her credentials also include certificates in Data Science and Business Analytics through the Harvard Business School and training at the World Bank’s International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET).
Jun 29 2020Blog Post Combatting Injustice: Why Listening to the Most Vulnerable Can Lead Us to a Better “New Normal” When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, PACE Center for Girls, a Feedback Labs partner, had to quickly find innovative ways to engage with the population they serve. When lockdown orders came into effect across the U.S., the girls and young women that PACE serves said they were worried about losing connections to their peers and friends […] Britt Lake, Megan Campbell, Veronica Olazabal Jun 16 2020Blog Post We must build back better: urban resilience can show us how A recent New York Times article chronicled how Elmhurst Hospital in Queens was besieged by Covid-19 patients, while nearby hospitals had capacity. The article referenced an earlier tragedy on September 11, 2001, when the Police, Fire, and Emergency Response departments communicated on different radio frequencies leading to hundreds of firefighters trapped in the towers while […] Carlos Martín, Kirsten Eiler, Veronica Olazabal Jun 10 2020Blog Post Using Real-Time Data Analysis to Adapt in Moments of Crisis: A Lesson in Reducing Post-Harvest Loss Across Africa The Covid-19 global pandemic has lain bare many vulnerabilities in our current systems, from a lack of equity and economic opportunity to the weaknesses of our food supply chains. As the world moves to address the pandemic’s effects, listening to the stakeholders and intended beneficiaries can yield important insights on how to adapt and refine […] Betty Kibaara, Hannah Metcalfe, Nichelle Walton, Veronica Olazabal Jun 09 2020Blueprint Mobile Solutions to Reduce Crop Loss in Africa YieldWise is The Rockefeller Foundation’s $130 million initiative working with private, public, and nonprofit actors involved in the food supply system to cut their food loss and waste by half. From how smallholder farmers harvest and bring crops to market, to reducing corporate losses across supply chains, to corporate losses across supply chains, all the […] Betty Kibaara, Veronica Olazabal 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 […]