Alyssa Saunders, LEED™ AP
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 Communities Challenge evaluation in Vermont and Maine on behalf of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Building Healthier, More Equitable Communities initiative in New Jersey for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 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 regularly works with clients to understand the trajectory of sites' work on the ground and think through how to use that knowledge to shape future convenings and initiative supports to further advance teams' progress in achieving their shared goals.
Alyssa also offers expertise in small business development, workforce development, and the creative economy. She previously led an evaluation of Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation's Business Equity Initiative (BEI), an innovative program to address the issue of the growing income inequities in Massachusetts by supporting Black and Latinx entrepreneurs. She also spearheaded the firm's evaluation of the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation's Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program. Alyssa has completed several workforce partnership evaluations, including for the Workforce Solutions Collaborative of Metro Hartford, and SkillWorks, a Boston area nationally recognized workforce intermediary. Additionally, Alyssa has played a key role in strategic planning, managing the firm's strategic plan for the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and Mt. Auburn's creative economy work in Vermont and the Capital Region of New York. 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).