Meet our New Director of Research and Evaluation, Lea Xenakis

Lea Xenakis

Our Research and Evalution Team just gained even more expertise with the addition of our newest team member. Lea Xenakis is joining Visible Network Labs as our Director of Research and Evaluation, bringing a wealth of experience as a network scientist, policy analyst, and researcher in a variety of areas related to public health and social connectedness. We asked Lea a few questions this week to help you get to know her better. Read our full interview below!

What originally made you interested in working at VNL?

I was introduced to the PARTNER platform and Danielle Varda during one of my first research projects at the RAND Corporation. After gaining valuable research skills at the RAND Corporation, I started to explore how I could continue to pursue my interest in examining the relationship between public and private organizations, policymakers, and the community to solve today’s most pressing problems.

As I reflected on my past work, I was reminded of PARTNER and VNL and revisited that first RAND project, where we examined the relationship between the health department and non-profit organizations in disaster preparedness and response. I recognized that VNL is paving the way for people and organizations to use network science to solve the crucial questions in today’s society. Being a part of VNL gives me the opportunity to continue to hone my research skills and pursue my original interest in examining and enhancing the relationship between public and private organizations, and communities, to address the imperative challenges today.

What's your job title and what will you be doing here?

As Visible Network Labs’ new Director of Research and Evaluation, I will be working with the Data Science team on quality improvement projects, data collection, implementation, analysis, and writing.

What did you do professionally before coming to VNL?

Prior to joining Visible Network Labs, I was a Policy Analyst at the RAND Corporation where I contributed to literature reviews, data collection and analysis, report preparation, study development and design, and project management.
 

What's the best place you've traveled to?

One of my the most memorable trips was to Paris with my husband. We toured beautiful sites, learned about the city’s history, drank great wine, and ate delicious food.

Why do you do this work? What inspires you?

I want to improve our health and education systems with the goal of providing quality care and adequate education to all American’s. Through personal experience, I recognized the asymmetry in health care and want to work towards creating a more efficient and effective system by breaking down silos and improving collaboration.
 

What do you enjoy doing away from the job?

It is important to take time away from work to reset and maintain a beneficial perspective on life. When I am not working, I enjoy playing sports, such as tennis and soccer, trying out new healthy recipes, or relaxing with a good book.

Welcome to the Team, Lea!

If you are a VNL client or project partner you will likely get the chance to meet and work with Lea soon (if you have not already). We cannot wait to see what she accomplishes as part of the team, with her diverse skillset and experience in the field. Welcome to VNL, Lea, we are so glad to have you on the team! Learn more about Lea and the rest of our staff on her Team Bio page here.

About the Author: Alex Derr, M.P.A.

Marketing & Communications Manager

Alex joined VNL in 2017, originally supporting our events. He now helps manages our communications and marketing strategy and content development work. Alex creates blogs, infographics, reports, and other content while managing our web and social media presence. He also runs our email marketing campaigns, tracks analytics, and conducts market research to drive our strategy. He supports our entire team with copywriting, graphic design and research, and helps with events, webinars, demos, and other online learning. When he isn’t at work Alex spends his time climbing 14ers (24 done, 34 to go!) and blogging on his own website, The Next Summit Blog.

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