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Nancy Porteous, FCES

May 2012

One new fellow has joined the ranks of the Canadian Evaluation Society Fellowship.

Mrs. Nancy Porteous. Here is a transcript of her introduction and acceptance speech.

Knowing Nancy and her vast contribution to evaluation in Canada and around the world, I can only say bravo.

Nancy was accepted as a Fellow because of her innumerable contributions to the evaluation profession domestically and internationally over the past two decades. This includes important leadership roles in the Canadian Evaluation Society which have made CES and CES Educational Fund (CESEF) stronger organizations. Through her increasingly responsible positions in the Canadian public and not-for-profit sectors, Nancy has helped improve the capacity and performance of Canadian public and not for profit sectors in evaluation. In addition, Nancy has been and continues to be an enthusiastic promoter of evaluation and evaluators, which has in turn inspired others to become active proponents of evaluation in their own organizational and institutional milieu.

Finally, she has made important contributions to evaluation internationally, including representing Canada as a founding Board of the International Organisation for Cooperation in Evaluation and as a faculty member in the World Bank's internationally acclaimed IPDET program.

I could go on and on, but instead: on behalf of the Canadian Evaluation Society Fellowship I would like to welcome its newest member, Nancy Porteus.

Thank you so much for this very special award – to be recognized by your peers is truly an honour. I was thoroughly delighted, and completely surprised, when Martha Maguire, CES President, called to share the wonderful news. I am touched and it means a great deal.

Thank you to the CES National Capital Chapter for nominating me, especially Heather Buchanan, Geraldine Cooney, and Simon Roy as well as Mary Kay Lamarche and Brenda Stead for bringing the nomination to CES National Council. A heartfelt thank you to those who supported my nomination with letters of support – for your time and energy amidst already busy schedules: Francois Dumaine, Benoît Gauthier, Karyn Hicks, Natalie Kischuk, John Mayne, Olive Moase, Anita Myers, Michael Obrecht, Paula Walters-Dazé, and Rochelle Zorzi. In fact, I am not grateful to those who nominated me for just the nomination and letters of support but also for their many and varied influences on me and my career over the years, all of which enabled me to contribute to the CES and the broader evaluation community.

A special thanks to all of those with whom I served on CES National Council and the Boards of the CES National Capital Chapter, the International Organisation for Cooperation in Evaluation, the CES Educational Fund and the CES Credentialing Board. So many dedicated volunteers giving time and talent to advancing the profession – lots of work and lots of accomplishments. But perhaps more importantly... so many friendships made.

Thank you to my colleagues at Ekos Research, the City of Ottawa and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). A special shout out to the PHAC Evaluation Services team. Thanks for stretching me – stretching me as a manager, as a methodologist and as a mentor.

Thanks also to the dedicated policy and program managers and staff that I've worked with over the years for helping me understand and appreciate the on the ground realities of policy implementation and program delivery and for continually challenging me on the quality and usefulness of our evaluation work.

Thanks to participants in workshops and other teaching at conferences, the International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET) and more recently the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University for sharing your experience and for pushing me to provide clear and practical instruction on the what, why and who of evaluation.

Finally, on a personal note, thanks to my parents, Roy and Kay, for providing me with a remarkable example of what it means to be of service to a community. And thanks to my amazing partner, Corinne, and our three wonderful kids Amber-Dawn, Christian and Joshua for all of their non-evaluation related love and support.

The Fellowship description talks about conspicuous continued involvement in CES and the evaluation field. Well, the flip side for me is conspicuous continued enrichment by the people of CES and the broader evaluation community in my own professional and personal learning and growth over the past 20 odd years. I invite each and every one of you to get involved with CES. Trust me – what you put in you'll get back a hundred times over. I know you will meet dedicated, creative and caring people committed to making a difference.