Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning Director, Regional

Carolyn O’Donnell has more than 15 years of experience in monitoring and evaluation (M&E), learning, and knowledge management, to her position with The Asia Foundation as director for monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning (MERL). Carolyn provides strategic leadership in designing innovative M&E systems, implementing comprehensive M&E, research and learning plans, and facilitating evidence-based learning to improve adaptive management and decision-making processes.

She established the Foundation’s Nepal office MERL team in 2019 and provided on-the-job training and mentoring to MERL specialists to build their skills in data quality, analysis, and use, as well as research, monitoring, and evaluation design. She has supported a diverse set of development sector portfolios during her time at the Foundation, including governance, small grants, civil society, and data governance.

Before joining the Foundation, Carolyn worked as a Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning fellow through the Expanding Monitoring and Evaluation Capacity Project for USAID. As a fellow, she spent four years in the USAID/Nepal Mission, supporting the Democracy and Governance Office, the Social, Environmental, and Economic Development Office, and the program office to strengthen MEL systems and processes. Prior to that, she worked with Winrock International as an M&E Advisor. She started her career in M&E in 2008 at the Centre for Development and Population Activities, working on female empowerment and reproductive health.

Education: Carolyn O’Donnell holds a master’s degree in International Development from American University and a bachelor’s degree in French and Political Science from Grinnell College. She has worked in 14 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. She speaks English, French, and Nepali.