Tererai Trent joining us as guest blogger next week!

We’re delighted to bring Genuine Evaluation followers a new guest blogger next week to enrich the conversation.

It is hard to imagine a more amazing journey to become an evaluator and international public speaker than the story of Tererai Trent. From humble beginnings in a cattle-herding family in rural Zimbabwe, where she was denied education because she was a girl and taught herself to read, Tererai has overcome incredible odds to achieve her dreams.

With her mother’s encouragement to aim high, Tererai wrote down her life goals on a scrap of paper and buried them in a tin box beneath a rock in a field where she herded cattle. Then she began systematically crossing those goals off as she achieved them.

From her poor village in Zimbabwe, Tererai left for America in the late 1990s and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 2000 and 2003 from Oklahoma State University. In 2009 she checked the last item off her list when she was awarded her doctorate – an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Evaluation from Western Michigan University.

Tererai’s work experiences, which include more than 8 years working for Heifer International as a Deputy Director of Monitoring & Evaluation, have taken her to five continents. Tererai worked with Michael Scriven, who supervised her doctoral studies at WMU, for five years in a major impact assessment that spanned 20 countries worldwide. Her main role was to ensure evaluative components such as gender, HIV, and cultural context were mainstreamed within each multicultural setting.

As a professional evaluator who now heads her own California-based evaluation consulting firm, Tinogona Consulting, she draws upon multiple perspectives of evaluation theory, practice and its utilization, as well as from her own extraordinary life experiences. Tererai brings together viewpoints from both the developing and developed world to provide a unique and very practical perspective on evaluation.

We are pretty sure Tererai is the world’s first evaluator to appear on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Make absolutely sure you check out her amazing story on the Oprah site in video form. It’s absolutely incredible. As New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof said,

“Any time anyone tells you that a dream is impossible, any time you’re discouraged by impossible challenges, just mutter this mantra: Tererai Trent.”

Join us next week, starting on about September 12th, for a rich and interesting dialogue with Tererai!

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