Karen Eileen Kirkhart


  • 357 Citations
  • 7 h-Index
1980 …2016

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

KAREN E. KIRKHART holds a Ph.D. in Social Work and Psychology from The University of Michigan. She is currently Professor, School of Social Work, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, Syracuse University, where she teaches graduate courses in both program evaluation and clinical practice evaluation. Dr. Kirkhart is also an affiliated faculty member of the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Dr. Kirkhart has been active in the evaluation profession for over thirty-five years and served as President of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) in 1994. Her leadership has been recognized with the Robert Ingle Award for Outstanding Services to the AEA. Dr. Kirkhart’s work on multicultural validity seeks to bring issues of cultural competence to the forefront of the evaluation profession by centering validity theory in culture. Her work on evaluation influence places evaluation use in the broader contexts of power, privilege, intention, and consequences, interweaving ethics and validity. Dr. Kirkhart’s scholarly contributions have been recognized by the AEA with the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Award for Outstanding Contribution to Evaluation Theory.

Dr. Kirkhart collaborated with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) in their development of an Indigenous Evaluation Framework and was a member of the writing team for the AEA Public Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation. In 2013, she was honored by Syracuse University as Scholar/Teacher of the Year, an award that recognizes the combined contributions of teaching excellence and outstanding scholarship. In 2018, Dr. Kirkhart received the Laura Taddeucci Downs NSCS Advisor of the Year Award from the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.


External positions

Affiliated Faculty, Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Research Interests

  • Evaluation
  • Validity
  • Culture
  • Intersectionality
  • Evaluation influence
  • Multicultural Validity

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Research Output

Equity, privilege and validity: Traveling companions or strange bedfellows?

Kirkhart, K. E., 2016, Evaluation for an equitable society . Donaldson, S. & Picciotto, R. (eds.). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing Inc., p. 109-131

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Culturally Responsive Evaluation

Hood, S., Hopson, R. K. & Kirkhart, K. E., Oct 14 2015, Handbook of Practical Program Evaluation: Fourth Edition. Wiley Blackwell, p. 281-317 37 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • 20 Scopus citations

    Evaluation Influence: The Challenge of Making a Difference

    Kirkhart, K. E. & Palmer, S., 2015.

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

  • Envisioning an Evaluation Curriculum to Develop Culturally Responsive Evaluators and Support Social Justice

    Collins, P. M., Kirkhart, K. E. & Brown, T., Sep 1 2014, In : New Directions for Evaluation. 2014, 143, p. 23-36 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 1 Scopus citations

    Advancing considerations of culture and validity: Honoring the Key Evaluation Checklist

    Kirkhart, K. E., 2013, The future of evaluation in society: A tribute to Michael Scriven . Donaldson, S. (ed.). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing Inc., p. 129-159

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


    • 1 Invited talk

    Centering Evaluation in Culture

    Karen Eileen Kirkhart (Speaker)

    Nov 2017 → …

    Activity: Talk typesInvited talk