Sonia is a seasoned social sector leader with expertise in design, strategy, evaluation, and organizational effectiveness. She brings over 25 years of experience leading teams and organizations in the nonprofit, private, and public sectors. She is inspired by innovative ideas, people committed to action, and ambitious efforts to tackle complex social issues.
Prior to co-founding Engage R+D in 2017, Sonia served as senior vice president at Harder+Company Community Research where she led the Los Angeles office and oversaw staffing and business development efforts. She also served on the executive management team, refined the firm’s approach to talent management, and directed projects for a range of social sector clients. Sonia has held a variety of international and domestic positions over the course of her career. Early on, she served as a nonprofit executive director designing international technical assistance programs and launching a successful community development loan fund in Nicaragua. She also served as the associate director of the National Latino Research Center at Cal State San Marcos developing their evaluation practice and leading technical assistance projects in the US-Mexico border region.
At Engage R+D, Sonia leverages her diverse leadership experience and entrepreneurial spirit to design, implement, and evaluate a broad range of projects and systems change initiatives. Her client portfolio includes The California Endowment, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, and Southern California Grantmakers as well as public agencies and nonprofits.
Well-versed in both formative and summative evaluation, Sonia’s sweet spot is developmental evaluation and facilitating organizational learning and strategy development. She is particularly adept at evaluating complex systems change initiatives as well as organizational and community capacity building. Sonia is frequently invited to facilitate funder and peer learning communities designed to lift up and share actionable insights in the form of action plans, journey maps, infographics, and practice briefs. She continually looks for creative ways to meld numbers, stories, and visuals into compelling and actionable products for diverse audiences. She believes in the power of evaluation to fuel learning and design effective strategies that advance equity and help communities thrive. Sonia speaks fluent Spanish.
Master of Pacific International Affairs (MPIA.), School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS), University of California, San Diego
Dual BA in Political Science and Latin American Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison