Linda Stern is the director of Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (MEL) at NDI. An applied anthropologist by training, she is an expert in action research methods and participatory evaluation, often acting as lead evaluator on NDI's internal evaluations. As director of a small technical team, Stern provides NDI staff with the capacity to monitor and evaluate their programs, and equips NDI teams with the appropriate tools and guidelines for collecting, analyzing and reporting on programmatic data. Stern is responsible for ensuring that NDI has a strong body of evidence for the quality, effectiveness and impact of its democracy assistance programming.
Stern joined the Institute in 2007 with over 20 years of experience in the social justice sector, working in the U.S., Latin America, Central & Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. Before joining NDI, Stern worked as an advocate for the rights of immigrants and political asylum seekers, managed a US congressional demonstration project on community-coalition building for the Centers for Disease Control , and served as Catholic Relief Services' regional advocacy advisor in the Balkans and Caucasus from 1999 to 2004. She has held joint positions at Georgetown University's Center for Social Justice and the Center for New Directions in Learning and Scholarship. Stern currently teaches at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs where she developed the schools' first graduate professional skills course in monitoring and evaluation.