Chi Yan Lam, PhD (Queen’s), is a seasoned civil servant, evaluator, and educator. His career centres on translating complex policy ideas into actionable insights and connecting decision-makers with the evidence and analyses they need to achieve greater results.
He has been a senior member of the Ontario Public Service since 2016, where he leads research and evaluation initiatives across all phases of the program/policy cycle. To date, he has directed over $500,000+ of evaluation services and advised on over $1.5M worth of procured reserch/evaluation services. He’s a persuasive communicator who is quick to build trust and rapport with diverse audiences, including senior executives and political officials, front-line professionals, sector partners, and external funders. He is a strategic leader who understands the dynamics of complex organizations, business processes, and government decision-making. Informing his work is a deep understanding of public administration principles, service delivery and policy/program development, and how data, research, and evaluation can be leveraged to achieve policy and programming success. His credit includes leading the research/evaluation of flagship government initiatives, including the provincial rollout of Supported Employment, program redesign to Youth Job Connection ($100M+ annual budget), funding enhancements to Dual Credit (~$36M annual budget), and a developmental evaluation of Experience Ontario (~$20M annual budget).
Alongside a career in public service, he continues to teach, consult on and write about evaluation.
Lam currently serves on the faculty of both the Faculties of Education and Health Sciences at Queen’s University, where he teaches program evaluation and classroom assessment to over ~140 students a year. Because he is at once a scholar and a practitioner, he brings to his students the latest practices from the field and shows them how evaluation could best be approached in real life to achieve results.
Lam earned his doctorate having trained formally in program evaluation and research methodologies. His program of research focuses on innovative methodologies to evaluating programs. He believes that evaluation can and should be leveraged before and during a program is implemented to maximize mission success. This is especially critical for programs which aims to tackle complex social needs in an innovative way. Through his research on developmental evaluation, he seeks to understand how evaluators can achieve that goal by partnering with program staff in using evidence and evaluative information during program planning, design, and implementation. His unique insight is to draw on design thinking and techniques to bring forth ideas and evidence to help program developers explore options, think creatively, and test options. His research has been fruitful leading to publications in the American Journal of Evaluation, Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, Teacher Education Quarterly, and the Canadian Association of Principals Journal. In recognition of his professional accomplishments, he was awarded the professional designation, Credentialed Evaluator, by the Canadian Evaluation Society in 2014.
Outside of work, he continues to pursue his lifelong passion in music and photography. He also hopes to one day finish his pilot license, something he’s putting aside for now as he assumes new responsibilities (and financial obligations) as a father of a newborn.
Dr. Chi Yan Lam is a Credentialed Evaluator and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of evaluation at the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Health Sciences, Queen’s University; he is also a full-time evaluator practicing in public service. He specializes in evaluating large-scale, complex programs and incorporates multi-, mixed- and design methods in his evaluations to answer questions of importance to program administrators and policy makers working on educational and social programs. His articles on evaluation have been published in peer-reviewed journals, including the American Journal of Evaluation and the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation. He has been a holder of the professional designation in evaluation since 2014.