Marie Colombo, director of evaluation and learning, has been intrigued by the collection and use of data to improve the quality of social programs since her first undergraduate research methods class. After completing her master’s degree in evaluation and public policy at Wayne State, she spent 25 years in the evaluation research unit at WSU’s Center for Urban Studies, managing evaluation projects for clients ranging from small nonprofit organizations to large federal departments. A goal of providing actionable information to guide decision-making drives her work. Since joining the Foundation in 2005, she has overseen evaluation, learning and performance monitoring activities, drawing on the latest advances in the evaluation field to keep pace with the rapidly changing context that encompasses the work of improving conditions for Detroit’s young people. A life-long Detroit area resident, Colombo and her husband, as well as their three sons, live in the metro area. When she’s not pondering data, Colombo can be found in her garden, at the beach or at a music venue.