Dr. Jewlya Lynn is the Chief Learning Officer and founder of Spark Policy Institute, where she develops innovative, research-based approaches to help communities and policymakers solve complex societal problems that defy easy solutions. She is experienced in working in communities, has a deep understanding of policy and politics, and provides extensive expertise in working across public and private sectors. Dr. Lynn’s work is exclusively in the context of complex, systemic change, often in a collaborative or collective impact context, and she has led projects across multiple issue areas including climate change, natural resources, healthcare, food systems, justice, nuclear security, and more.
Jewlya is at the forefront nationally in developing an evaluation framework for advocacy field building and developed Spark’s unique strategic learning model, which she applies in settings where learning is critical to success including collective impact, advocacy, systems building and community mobilizing. Her coaching services for foundations and nonprofits throughout the country help these organizations develop and implement evaluation and strategic learning to help them both thrive and succeed.
In addition to supporting and catalyzing change in many different arenas, Dr. Lynn has a passion for developing and refining tools, processes, and frameworks that help to make complex work less abstract and more hands on. These include widely-used tools for collective impact backbones, adaptive planning, strategic learning, systems change, and facilitation.
Dr. Lynn is a faculty member for the Presidio Institute’s Cross Sector Fellowship Program, a program the Institute designed and implements in partnership with BlackRock, Mckinsey and Company, and the White House Office of Social Innovation. Her learning models and evaluation frameworks have been published by the Foundation Review and the Center for Evaluation Innovation and she has participated on many different advisory panels for national evaluations, most recently the United States Department of Agriculture’s farm to school grantee initiative and the design of a National Science Foundation funded participatory data analysis system.
Outside of her work at Spark, Jewlya loves the outdoors in all weather – biking, hiking, snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice skating on a lake in the mountains – and even backpacking with her four-year-old daughter along for the ride. Talk about a challenge!
Prior to founding Spark, Dr. Lynn managed a project designed to transform social services, juvenile justice, and education systems in response to the Columbine school shooting, and before that worked for the Colorado State Legislature. She has a Ph.D. in public affairs from the University of Colorado, Denver.