David M. Fetterman

Abbreviated Resume



       Current and Selected Previous Positions

David M. Fetterman is the President & CEO of Fetterman & Associates, an international evaluation consultation firm. He is also co-Director of the Arkansas Evaluation Center.  Dr. Fetterman is member of the facuty at Pacifica Graduate Institute, University of Charleston (Business and Leadership), San Jose State University (Anthropology), and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (School of Education).  He has also served as a Collaborating Professor, Colegio de Postgraduadors, Mexico..  Formerly, he served as Director of Evaluation, Division of Evaluation in the School of Medicine at Stanford University.  For a decade he was a Consulting Professor of Education and the Director of the MA Policy Analysis and Evaluation Program in the School of Education at Stanford University. He was formerly Professor and Research Director at the California Institute of Integral Studies; Principal Research Scientist at the American Institutes for Research; and a Senior Associate and Project Director at RMC Research Corporation. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in educational and medical anthropology. He has conducted fieldwork in both Israel (including living on a kibbutz) and the United States (primarily in inner-cities across the country). David works in the fields of educational evaluation, ethnography, educational technology, policy analysis, and focuses on programs for dropouts and gifted and talented education.

Professional Organizations (past president)

David is a past-president of the American Evaluation Association and the American Anthropological Association's Council on Anthropology and Education. He has also served as the program chair for each of these organizations.


He has conducted extensive multisite evaluation research on local, state, and national levels. David's multisite work has been primarily in urban settings. He conducted a three year national evaluation of dropout programs for the Department of Education, two year $15 million Hewlett Packard Digital Village project, three year academic distress project for the Arkansas Department of Education, eight year Tobacco Prevention Empowerment Evaluation for the Arkansas Department of Health, and numerous projects for the Knight Foundation, including the Digital Media Center. In addition, he served as the Director of an Anti-poverty Program. He has also conducted research on migrant and bilingual education programs. David has taught in an inner -city high school, two Hebrew schools, and in various university settings. Although he is recognized for his contributions to the development of ethnographic evaluation, his most recent efforts have focused on developing empowerment evaluation -- to help people help themselves. He has used this approach throughout the world including: Australia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Finland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, and the United States.


David was awarded the American Educational Research Association's Research in Evaluation Distinguished Scholar Award and the Outstanding Higher Education Professional Award.  He has been presented with the President's Award and elected a fellow of the American Anthropological Association and a fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology. He received the Lazarsfeld Award for Evaluation Theory and the Myrdal Award for Evaluation Practice - the American Evaluation Association's highest honors. David also received the George and Louise Spindler Award for outstanding contributions to educational anthropology as a scholar and practitioner, and the Ethnographic Evaluation Award from the Council on Anthropology and Education. He received the President's Award from the Evaluation Research Society for contributions to ethnographic educational evaluation. He was also awarded the Washington Association of Practicing Anthropologists' Praxis Publication Award for translating knowledge into action.

Gifted and Talented Education Research and Evaluation

David has also worked on the state, national, and international level in the field of gifted and talented education. He created and organized the first and second Gifted and Talented Education Conference at Stanford University.

David received one of the 1990 Mensa Education and Research Foundation Awards for Excellence. Mensa Education and Research Foundation encourages research into the nature, characteristics, and uses of intelligence. The award was made for Fetterman's book Excellence and Equality: A Qualitatively Different Perspective on Gifted and Talented Education and articles on gifted and talented education in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis and Gifted Education International.

Fetterman was appointed by the U.S. Department of Education to serve on a panel to select a national center for the gifted and talented. He was selected in part because of his recommendation to create a national center in his book Excellence and Equality. The center is in operation and Fetterman is a member of the Center's Consultant Bank, currently advising the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented.

Teaching Online and Internet Activities

Dr. Fetterman has taught online for over 20 years in an online Ph.D. program and in classrooms at Stanford University, complementing face-to-face instruction.He also provides webinars for the American Evaluation Association, UNICEF, and Claremont Graduate University.  Dr. Fetterman writes about teaching online and videoconferencing on the internet in journals ranging from, Educational Researcher to Practicing Anthropology. He maintains an American Evaluation Association division listserv for collaborative, participatory, and empowerment evaluation. Dr. Fetterman was also appointed to the American Educational Research Association's Telecommunications Committee, advising the association in this area.  He maintains both the Empowerment Evaluation blog and formerly the Stanford University School of Medicine Medical Education Research and Evaluation blog. Dr. Fetterman has one of the top 10% most viewed LinkedIn profiles for 2012 (200 million members).


He has consulted for a variety of federal agencies, foundations, corporations, and academic institutions, including the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute of Mental Health, Centers for Disease Control, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Walter S. Johnson Foundation, Syntex, the Independent Development Trust in South Africa, STAKES in Finland, Early Childhood Research Institute on Full Inclusion, Knight Foundation, Marin Community Foundation, Peninsula Community Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Hewlett Packard Philanthropy and Education, and universities throughout the United States and Europe. 


Fetterman is the General Editor for Garland Publication's Studies in Education and Culture series. He has contributed to a variety of encyclopedias including the International Encyclopedia of Education and the Encyclopedia of Human Intelligence. He is also the author or editor of Collaborative, Participatory, and Empowerment Evaluation:  Stakeholder Involvement Approaches; Empowerment Evaluation:  Knowledge and Tools for Self-assessment, Evaluation Capacity Building, and Accountability, Empowerment Evaluation in the Digital Villages:  Hewlett-Packard's $15 Million Race Toward Social Justice, Empowerment Evaluation Principles in Practice, Foundations of Empowerment Evaluation; Empowerment Evaluation: Knowledge and Tools for Self-assessment and Accountability; Speaking the Language of Power: Communication, Collaboration, and Advocacy; Ethnography: Step by Step; Qualitative Approaches to Evaluation in Education: The Silent Scientific Revolution; Excellence and Equality: A Qualitatively Different Perspective on Gifted and Talented Education; Educational Evaluation: Ethnography in Theory, Practice, and Politics; and Ethnography in Educational Evaluation.

Radio Interviews

Dr. Fetterman also maintains an active lecture tour schedule including radio interviews.

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