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Spotlight: External Research Partners


The Colorado Lab is excited to highlight two external research partners, Dr. Alena Clark and Dave Anderson! They join more than 70 skilled, passionate researchers we have had the pleasure of partnering with on diverse projects over the past 5 years.

Bridge to the Research Community

Watch for the next post in our special blog series marking the Colorado Lab’s fifth anniversary to learn how we’re working to build a network of highly-qualified researchers and evaluators to connect governmental partners with the right evaluators, at the right time, for the right project.

Alena Clark

Dr. Alena Clark is serving as an external project partner to support our work with Plans of Safe Care through the Perinatal Substance Use Coordinated Care and Support pilot program. Plans of Safe Care were identified during the perinatal substance use data linkage project as a means to improve cross-system care coordination and health outcomes for families impacted by perinatal substance use disorders.

Dr. Clark will serve as Project Director, facilitating the work of pilot program partners, Kempe Center, Illuminate Colorado, and the Colorado Lab. She brings to this work her deep background in maternal and child health, nutrition and public health, as well as extensive on-the-ground engagement experience working with people receiving support through the WIC program and across faith communities.

An instructor at Colorado State University, Dr. Clark’s primary areas of research and practice are lactation support, global health, infant and young child nutrition, and evaluating the access of under-resourced communities to nutrition education and public health resources. She earned a PhD in Human Nutrition at Colorado State University, an MPH in Public Health Nutrition at the University of Minnesota and a BA in Nutrition and Dietetics at Concordia College.

Dave Anderson

Dave Anderson is supporting our work with the Colorado Department of Higher Education’s Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI). The initiative aims to increase available scholarships and provide students with needed support to increase the number of Coloradans who enroll in and complete their postsecondary education—and go on to good careers with little college debt. The program particularly focuses on supporting underserved students, for whom college may seem out of reach.

As an external research partner, Dave’s role is to work closely with the COSI team, helping them to strengthen program effectiveness, achieve desired outcomes, and identify the types of research studies to consider for continuous improvement. He brings to this project extensive experience in funding, reviewing, and helping to design evidence-based research across numerous policy areas, including education and workforce development.

Dave is the President of EBP Consulting LLC where he advises government officials, philanthropies, and nonprofits on rigorous evaluation design, interpreting research findings, evaluation strategy, and advancing evidence-based policy reforms. He previously served as Vice President of Evidence-Based Policy at Arnold Ventures and as Vice President of the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy. He holds a master’s degree in Public Policy from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree in International Studies from the University of Denver.

Call for External Research Partners

If you are interested in being considered for future projects and have not done so already, please learn more and fill out the brief questionnaire.