Shannah Tharp-Gilliam, PhD
Shannah Tharp-Gilliam was appointed to the ALCOSAN Board of Directors in the spring of 2019.
Since 2011, Dr. Gilliam has served in various roles at the Homewood Children’s Village, currently as its Director of the Office of Evaluation. She focuses on services impacting the behavioral and physical aspects of health and wellness for urban youth and families. Her role affords her opportunities to support the work of the Homewood Children’s Village as well as partners in the community, where she has provided technical assistance for evaluation strategies based on an outcomes-oriented approach.
Dr. Gilliam’s passion is synthesizing ideas into cohesive strategies that support equity and justice. In addition to her role in examining the Children’s Village’s direct services, she also leads regional efforts to design and implement systemic strategies to positively impact the lived experience of Allegheny County’s most vulnerable populations.
Before joining the Children’s Village, Dr. Gilliam was on staff for seven years at RAND Corporation, where she was a social science researcher conducting education and health policy research, providing recommendations for program improvement and policy change and conducting program and policy evaluations of local and national initiatives. She subsequently held an adjunct researcher position at RAND with publications as recent as 2016.
A graduate of Georgetown University with a bachelor’s of science degree, Dr. Gilliam earned her doctorate in developmental psychology from University of Pittsburgh, where she also earned a certification in public policy and program evaluation. She is trained in methodologies that include empirical research, community-based participatory research, human-centered design strategies, collective impact and systems thinking. She is also trained in and practices protocol development, administration and analysis integrating qualitative data into otherwise quantitative designs.