Meet Marcia Coné, EEI's Director of Practice Engagement and Evolution


For nearly three decades, Marcia has worked in partnership with NGOs, Philanthropy, PSOs, and Grassroots and Grasstops leaders to shift the paradigm and create cultures where intersectional equity is at the center. She brings a depth and breadth of experience that fuels her passion for moving the philanthropic sector away from a traditional framework towards bold philanthropy that is a catalyst for change. 

Marcia served as the Chief Strategist for the Women’s Funding Network and the Change Strategist for Advancing Workplace Excellence. The founding CEO of the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island, her leadership galvanized action to advance women and girls representation, rights, and economic equity through cross sector partnerships, community and constituent engagement, and strategic investments. 

Marcia holds a PhD and MSW from Boston College’s School of Social Work. Her past academic leadership includes serving as full-time, interim, and adjunct faculty at several colleges and universities across the country. A published writer, Marcia’s most recent publication is entitled, “Permission Granted: Changing the Paradigm for Women in Leadership”. She is a frequent keynote speaker at major philanthropy conferences engaging audiences to think differently and commit to taking action, previously speaking at Philanthropy Ohio, Long Island AFP, AFP International, Women Funded, and more. 

Leading dynamic peer learning communities has been a critical piece of Marcia’s work. She knows first-hand the synergy and transformation that occurs in communities of practice when equity is placed at the center of the work and inquiry, reflection, and innovation are cultivated.  In her role with EEI, she will develop a robust ecosystem of organizations and individuals to provide multiple spaces and modalities to help partners interrogate and evolve their evaluation practices, promote shared inquiry and learning, catalyze cross-sector thought leadership, and contribute to field-building.


The past two months have been an exciting and adventurous time as I step further into the role of Director of Practice Engagement and Evolution.

I’ve been introduced to many of you during calls and conversations, where I’ve learned about your experiences and opportunities in relation to the work of equitable evaluation. I’m so appreciative of the warm welcome. For those I’ve yet to meet, I look forward to doing so in the coming months.

As we begin our ease out of summer and into fall, I’ve been reflecting quite a bit on transitions.

This time of year always finds me a bit wistful, as the start of school was always happily anticipated. Now, as my youngest is off to college, I find the start of this school year has brought a host of expected and unexpected transitions to embrace.

In this new phase, I am re-examining my values and what I intend to carry forward. I’m mindful that what once seemed so relevant may no longer fit in this new paradigm. This theme carries over into the work of EEI.

As we start our work together to advance equitable evaluation as a field of practice, I’m committed to staying in process.

Over the coming months, my focus will be on understanding the current Practice Partner universe - themes, challenges, opportunities, progress, practices, and resources.

Through understanding what you all are up to, EEI can better serve, connect, offer insights, and support your work. This time will help me and the EEI team design the framework for what it means to be a Practice Partner.

I’ll leave you with a quote from author JoyBell C., which encapsulates the energy and lens with which I am approaching this work with you all:

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any thoughts or questions. You can email me anytime at I look forward to imagining and co-creating a future where evaluation is conceptualized, implemented, and utilized in a manner that promotes equity.