Dr Squirrel Main has been The Ian Potter Foundation’s Research and Evaluation Manager since 2015. She is co-chair of Philanthropy Australia’s Philanthropic Evaluation and Data Analysis working group (fondly known in funder circles as “geek club”). Over the past two decades, she has conducted evaluations for schools, outdoor education programs, the US Department of Education, childcare settings, and homelessness programs.
An evaluator and a data analyst with a passion for measuring and improving outcomes across education, health and community well being sectors, Squirrel completed her Masters at Stanford University in Evaluation and Policy Analysis. She received her PhD at the University of Auckland investigating teacher support systems in low-socioeconomic schools.
Squirrel has worked as a Senior Research Officer at the Brotherhood of St Laurence, a research assistant to Maxine McKew at the University of Melbourne, and an outdoor instructor for three years at the New Zealand Outward Bound School (it is no surprise to her PhD supervisors that her case study sites were all near excellent whitewater kayaking venues). She began her career as a primary school teacher—little did she know that “ability to home-school” would be her apocalypse ninja skill. She loves data analysis and believes you should, too!