Our Board

BetterEvaluation is governed by a Board consisting of six members who bring diverse experience in government, not-for-profit organisations, business enterprises and international development and a shared commitment to improving evaluation. While the current Board, who have overseen establishment of BetterEvaluation as a separate organisation, are all based in Australia or New Zealand, it is intended to expand the Board to achieve wider international involvement.

Karen Barfoot (Chair)

Karen Barfoot is a Public Affairs Consultant with broad experience in corporate public affairs, stakeholder engagement and public policy at executive levels in the government, corporate and not for profit sectors, nationally and internationally.
Karen’s executive experience includes Head of Public Affairs, Bristol-Myers Squibb (Australian affiliate of multi-national, specialised bio-pharmaceutical company), Executive Director of Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation, Vice President, International Development (US based) and CEO (Austrliian affiliate) of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Karen has also served in Australian Public Service Senior Executive roles in the Departments of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Finance, Health and Social Security.

Mark Madden, Secretary

Mark is a Director of Devils Advocate Pty Ltd. He has a broad range of experience in strategic planning, media and communications, public policy development and governance at all levels of government, Local, State and Federal and in the NFP sector. Mark is chair of the Fitzroy Learning Network and has served on the boards of government and other community organisations including the Legal Services Board (Victoria) and A Just Australia. He holds a Bachelors Degree (Arts) and is a graduate of the AICD’s Company Directors’ Course.

Gill Callister

Gill Callister, Professor (Practice), Associate Dean at ANZSOG and 2019 Public Service Medal recipient, has dedicated her career to improving public policy and service delivery. Gill served as Secretary of the Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET) and was the Secretary of the Victorian Department of Human Services. Gill is the most recent past President of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) (Victoria). In 2013 she was named in the Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence. In 2014, Gill was awarded the IPAA National Fellowship award and a Monash University Fellowship, and in 2017 was named as one of the top 50 women in the Victorian public service. Gill was the inaugural Chair of the Better Evaluation Ltd Board until mid-2020.

Chris Cookson

Chris Cookson is International Development Consultant who specialises in the provision of research, the preparation of development proposals/bids, the identification of potential partners and team members, the mentoring of teams, and trouble-shooting in the areas of Inclusive Economic Development, demand-driven TVET, Skills Development, re-positioning for the Changing World, and Labour Mobility. Chris was Resident Country Manager – Vanuatu, for the United States Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Team Leader and Management Advisor, Vanuatu Institute of Technology (VIT) Institutional Strengthening Project, AusAID, from 2000 to 2004 and Director and CEO of the Melbourne Institute of Textiles.

Linda Hatfield Dodds

Lin is an Associate Dean at the Australia New Zealand School of Government, leading work across a range of social policy and industry areas. Lin was Deputy Secretary, Social Policy in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2016 to 2019. From 2002-2016 Lin was the National Director of UnitingCare Australia, the national body for Australia’s largest NGO network of social, health and aged care services.
Lin has served on a wide range of boards and government advisory bodies, including as Chair of the Australian Social Inclusion Board, and President of the Australian Council of Social Service. Lin has worked as a counselling psychologist with families and young people at risk, with a particular interest in trauma and abuse. She is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Lin was ACT Australian of the Year in 2008, received a Churchill Fellowship to study anti-poverty strategies in 2003, and was awarded a Chief Minister’s International Women’s Day Award in 2002.

Dame Karen Sewell

Dame Karen Sewell has had a career in education and public service spanning 50 years, most recently contributing as a consultant to a number of education and governance activities.
In acknowledgement of her distinguished career in 2012 she became a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order (QSO) for services to the State and in 2016 became a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (DNZM) for her services to education. She was Chief Executive and Chief Review Officer of the Education Review Office, Acting Chief Executive of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and Chief Executive and Secretary for Education at the Ministry of Education.