Thought Partners for
Social Innovators

The ORS Impact team has earned a global reputation for leadership, insight and innovation. We work collaboratively with our clients, bringing our distinctive expertise in planning, measurement and evaluation to their most vexing challenges.

Terri Akey , PhD

Senior Director

Passion for creating just and equitable social systems is the driving force for why Terri engages in work each day, believing that evaluative thinking and access to high-quality, relevant evidence has the power to hold system leaders accountable, advocate for equitable policies, remove barriers, and help organizations change their practices to meet the needs of children, families and communities. She specializes in collaborative approaches to research and evaluation, working side-by-side with community, philanthropic, and education partners to obtain and use actionable evidence to define and achieve success and create access to opportunities and capacity to reach those success goals. Her approach relies on trained judgment, the flexible application of a variety of evaluation tools, deep knowledge of the political context, and strong trust with key stakeholders to address complex social challenges.

Terri is a former community organizer, counselor, teacher, professor and district administrator. She holds an undergraduate degree in sociology and community planning, and two masters degrees—one in community counseling and one in school psychology. She earned her doctorate in Research Methods and Lifespan Developmental Psychology at the University of Kansas in 1995. She has served on the boards of numerous youth-serving non-profit organizations and on state and national task forces related to education policy and educational equity issues.

In her non-work time, she enjoys spending time with her family, enjoying the fantastic art created by her talented husband and daughter, listening to music, engaging in all forms of photography, attending the theater and art museums, cooking, reading, and exploring the Pacific Northwest. She’s also a diehard college basketball fan, rooting for her beloved Jayhawks.

Sample Projects:

  • Evaluation Partner for the Democracy Fund’s Public Square Program
  • Lead of Collective Impact Forum’s Study of How Collective Impact Contributes to Social Change
  • Evaluation and Learning Partner for the National Equity Project
  • Senior researcher for the S.D. Bechtel study of Nonprofit Resiliency