Denise E. Herrera, PhD, joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2013 as an evaluation associate with the Research-Evaluation-Learning unit. She employs her extensive training in program design and evaluation in her work across all RWJF areas of focus. As she puts it: “I am invigorated by the opportunity to disseminate high-quality research and evaluation findings and best practices. RWJF has a stellar reputation of providing valuable, evidence-based information that can impact individuals and communities nationwide.”
Herrera has collaborated on a host of federal and statewide initiatives and has provided expertise on community development and civic engagement efforts in rural and urban areas in the United States and abroad. From 2005 to 2011, she served on the leadership development team for UT-Austin’s Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Wellness Works program, which promoted worksite wellness strategies among TX WIC staff throughout all 73 agencies and 324 clinics statewide. She recalls this as an excellent opportunity to build a program from the ground up and maintain collaborative partnerships among the Texas Department of State Health Services, University of Texas-Austin, and clinics statewide.
Herrera received a BS in Health Education from the University of New Mexico; an MS in Family Studies and Human Development from the University of Arizona; and a PhD in Health Education from the University of Texas-Austin. From 2010 to 2011 she was a Robert Wood Johnson Evaluation Fellow with Decision Information Resources in Houston. She is a Ronald E. McNair Scholar, a member of the American Evaluation Association, Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP), and a Global PeacePal Ambassador.
Born and raised in Albuquerque, N.M., Herrera credits her parents with “giving me wings and teaching me how to fly in sunny or cloudy weather.” Growing up in a large Hispanic family, she is a first generation college student and the first person on both sides of her family to complete a doctoral degree. She enjoys visiting her family, especially during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. She also enjoys international travel, community service, sporting events, cooking, and photography.