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Brandon Coffee-Borden

Pronouns: He/Him

Senior Research Scientist
Brandon has a passion for supporting strategies that create environments where people can thrive and foster more equitable and healthy communities.

Brandon is a senior research scientist with methodological expertise in evaluating the implementation and outcomes of systems change and place-based efforts to enhance well-being and advance equity. This work has spanned the areas of youth mentoring and violence prevention; health disparities and social determinants of health; early childhood education; juvenile justice; education reform; prevention and treatment of adverse childhood experiences; community ownership and wealth-building; and workforce development. He has worked with nonprofits, foundations, and government agencies to build their capacity to translate data, research, and evaluation into actionable improvements in efforts focused on policy and systems change; community engagement, organizing, and advocacy; leadership development; community strengthening and resilience; and interorganizational collaboration and network-building.

Brandon supports several projects evaluating complex system transformation initiatives. He is leading an assessment of the health services workforce pipeline in the Greater Kansas City region to identify barriers, gaps, and opportunities for individuals from groups that have been historically underrepresented in the health sciences. For the Evaluation of Catalytic Communities, he is leading the implementation study of an initiative fostering community-led systemic reforms in education ecosystems within cities across the United States. He is managing an implementation study of the MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge, a diverse network of jurisdictions working to reduce jail populations and advance racial equity. For the Evaluation of the National COVID-19 Resiliency Network, he is overseeing a survey of the network’s capacity and contribution at the community-level to awareness of and linkages to health information and services, access to new COVID-19–related resources, and formation of collaborative partnerships. 

Prior to joining NORC, Brandon was a managing associate with Community Science and provided research, evaluation, and capacity-building services. He served as project director for an evaluation of the Barr Foundation’s work to support leadership development within Greater Boston. He served as co-project director for an evaluation design of the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge Competition to improve outcomes for boys and young men of color through mentoring and violence prevention. He directed data collection efforts for the evaluation of the Office of Minority Health’s National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities. He also provided evaluation capacity building services to community-based organizations as part of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation’s place-based work. Brandon also worked at Mathematica Policy Research as an evaluator on projects focused on systems change, child development, family support, maternal and child health, education, youth employment, and foster youth.

Project Contributions

MacArthur Safety & Justice Challenge Evaluation

Evaluation of the MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge to reduce jail populations across the U.S.


MacArthur Foundation

Evaluation of the National COVID-19 Resiliency Network

Evaluation of multi-racial/ethnic and multi-sectoral network addressing the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on priority populations


DHHS Office of Minority Health

Catalytic Communities Initiative Evaluation

Assessing strategies to transform educational communities to benefit K-12 students


Walton Family Foundation