David Fetterman

Smiling man

David M. Fetterman, PhD, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8HONBPoICk) is president and CEO of Fetterman & Associates, an international evaluation consulting firm and the founder of empowerment evaluation (a community self-assessment approach). He has worked in over 17 countries, including townships in South Africa and Native American reservations, as well as in high tech firms in Silicon Valley, including Google and Hewlett-Packard. He has also facilitated a USAID sponsored empowerment evaluation in India focusing on eliminating tuberculosis. In addition, he has provided empowerment evaluation consultation services to Feeding America (one of the largest network of food banks in America).

Fetterman has 25 years of experience at Stanford University, serving as a School of Education faculty member, School of Medicine director of evaluation, and senior member of Stanford administration. Fetterman concurrently serves as a faculty member at Pacifica Graduate Institute
and Claremont Graduate University.

Previously, Dr. Fetterman was a professor and research director at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Principal Research Scientist at the American Institutes for Research, and a senior associate at RMC Research Corporation.

Fetterman is a past president of the American Evaluation Association and the American Anthropological Association’s Council on Anthropology and Education past president. He is the recipient of the Paul Lazarsfeld Award for Outstanding Contributions to Evaluation Theory and the Myrdal Award for Cumulative Contributions to Evaluation Practice. Fetterman received the American Educational Research Association Research on Evaluation Distinguished Scholar Award and the Mensa Award for Research Excellence. He is also the recipient of the American Anthropological Association’s President’s Prize for excellence and innovation in applying anthropological insights to the evaluation and improvement of education, social, and health services. Fetterman was recognized as the Top Anthropologist of the Year for 2019 and of the decade in 2020. Fetterman recently received the Global Impact and Lifetime Achievement Awards, highlighted on the Reuter’s Building and NASDAQ billboard in Times Square.

His Ted Talk is titled Empowerment Evaluation: Searching for Self-determination. He has published 18 books, including Empowerment Evaluation and Social Justice: Confronting the Culture of Silence, Collaborative, Participatory, and Empowerment Evaluation: Stakeholder Involvement Approaches, Empowerment Evaluation in the Digital Villages: Hewlett-Packard’s $15 Million Race Toward Social Justice (Stanford University Press), Ethnography: Step by Step (4th edition), and Empowerment Evaluation: Knowledge and Tools for Self-assessment, Evaluation Capacity Building, and Accountability.

Contributed by this member


  • A participatory approach designed to provide groups with the tools and knowledge so they can monitor and evaluate their own performance.
  • A participatory approach designed to provide groups with the tools and knowledge so they can monitor and evaluate their own performance.