B.A., Carleton College, 1978 (Psychology and Mathematics).
M.A., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1983 (Quantitative Psychology).
Ph.D., Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 1993 (Public Policy and Management).
Doug Easterling has worked in a number of roles (academic researcher, evaluator, funder,
facilitator) to advance the theory and practice of community-based health promotion. Under the
based paradigm, those individuals whose health is to be improved are directly engaged in the
defining the problem and developing the solutions. Outside experts and funders play a
supportive role in
moving coalitions and community-based organizations toward “effective” strategies, but do not
Doug’s research has focused on the various steps that successful community groups take in order
local health (e.g., assuming responsibility, establishing a shared sense of purpose, building trust,
issue from multiple perspectives, identifying strategic leverage points, taking account of best and
practices, creating strategies that fit the local environment, taking risks). He is also interested in
the process through which organizations and communities build their capacity (e.g., leadership,
efficacy, social capital), as well as in developing strategies that funders, researchers and
employ to facilitate community problem solving and capacity building.
As the Director of Research and Evaluation at The Colorado Trust (1992-1999), Doug managed
through which the foundation’s community-based initiatives were evaluated. The outcomes and
those initiatives are described in Promoting Health at the Community Level (Sage Publications,
Since returning to academia in 1999, he has evaluated foundation-sponsored initiatives
designed to promote
community-based problem solving, social capital, and improved race relations. Through
presentations, papers and consultation, he has helped a number of foundations develop their
evaluation, environmental scanning, and organizational learning. Along with Ross Conner, he
evaluation module for the Health Forum’s Fellowship programs.