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Yvonne Owens Ferguson, Ph.D.

Chief Research, Learning, & Evaluation
Yvonne Owens Ferguson, Ph.D.

Yvonne Owens Ferguson, Ph.D., is chief research, learning, and evaluation officer for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. She brings more than 15 years of experience in leading community-engaged research, large-scale program evaluations, and data-informed strategic planning.

A native Kansas Citian, Dr. Ferguson comes to the Foundation from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. There, she led the NIH Common Fund Community Partnerships to Advance Science for Society program, a more than $300 million, 10-year, first-of-its-kind initiative. The program funds community organizations directly to work with research partners to conduct health equity research intervening on social determinants of health and structural factors shaping conditions of everyday life. Dr. Ferguson’s leadership in health disparities and health equity research earned her NIH Director’s Awards in 2022 and 2023.

Prior to her role at NIH, she conducted large-scale regional and program evaluations as a senior global health research consultant with nonprofits, governments and civil society organizations in the United States, Switzerland, and the Caribbean.

Dr. Ferguson completed her post-doctoral training conducting community-engaged research as a Kellogg Health Scholar at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health. She received her Ph.D., with a certificate in International Development conducting research in sub-Saharan Africa, and received her Master of Public Health in Health Behavior, also from UNC-Chapel Hill. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Spelman College in Atlanta.