Alyssa is an innovative and collaborative senior leader at Mt. Auburn Associates. She has the rare ability to listen to and observe clients before offering ideas and to help clients organize ideas and make decisions based on facts and data rather than emotion.
Alyssa offers expertise in community economic development, particularly evaluating cross-site collective impact initiatives. She is currently managing the Working Cities Challenge evaluation on behalf of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in the cities of Newport and Providence, Rhode Island; Springfield, Massachusetts; and Middletown and Waterbury, Connecticut. She has also been engaged in evaluating cross-site collective impact efforts for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Invest Health Initiative, the Center for Community Investment's Connect Capital Initiative, and the Ripple Foundation's ReThink Health initiative. Alyssa also offers expertise in small business development, workforce development, and the creative economy. She is currently leading an evaluation of Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation's Business Equity Initiative (BEI), an innovative program that aims to address the issue of the growing income inequities in Massachusetts by supporting Black and Latinx entrepreneurs, and previously spearheaded the firm's evaluation of the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation's Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program. Alyssa has completed a number of workforce partnership evaluations, most recently for the Workforce Solutions Collaborative of Metro Hartford, and for SkillWorks, a Boston area nationally recognized workforce intermediary.
Alyssa's other projects focus on the arts. She is currently managing a statewide creative economy assessment for the Vermont Arts Council, and previously managed the team's yearlong assessment of the Creative Economy in the Capital Region of New York State and a 2015 study of the Economic Importance of Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. For these projects, Ms. Saunders regularly designs customized interview protocols, conducts key informant interviews, facilitates focus groups, designs, implements, and analyzes stakeholder surveys, conducts data analysis using large sets of data, and synthesizes this qualitative and quantitative research for final reports.
Alyssa holds an M.A. in Urban Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University (2012) and a B.A. in Psychology from Brown University (2005).