Meet Leadership of Office of Evaluation and Partner Contracts
Wendy Wolfersteig, Ph.D.,
Director, Evaluation and Partner Contracts
Dr. Wendy L. Wolfersteig serves as Director of Evaluation and Partner Contracts at the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center at Arizona State University. For over 20 years, her work in substance abuse prevention and evaluation in Arizona has focused on the use of effective evidence-based strategies and data-driven decision-making. She leads her team in working collaboratively with state, county, city and local partners to design and perform evaluations, provide trainings and disseminate findings aimed at preventing, reducing and eliminating health disparities.
Her community based participatory research addresses health equity with underserved populations and diverse subgroups. Specifically, this includes research on health effects stemming from risk and protective factors around social determinants such as food and housing, social support and isolation, and traumatic childhood and adult experiences. Recent community-based projects investigate the social determinants of health related to medical outcomes, collect and analyze data on social and health needs of target groups, and test the efficacy of a child abuse and neglect curriculum for preK to 12th grade students.
Dr. Wolfersteig is a research associate professor in the School of Social Work at ASU. She serves as a member (former chair) of the Arizona Substance Abuse Epidemiology Work Group. She was appointed as a member of the City of Phoenix, Fast-Track Cities Initiative Ad-Hoc Committee and recently completed four years on the board of the Arizona Evaluation Network (AZENet).
Maria Aguilar-Amaya, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Evaluations and Partner Contracts
Dr. María Aguilar-Amaya is Associate Director of the Office of Evaluation and Partner
Contracts at the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center at Arizona State University. She is
a Faculty Associate in the College of Integrates Sciences and Arts and the School of Social
Work. Her current research focuses on health disparities, substance use disorder, and opioid use
disorder. She has extensive experience in conducting quantitative and qualitative research and
survey development for the past 25 years and strong skills in all areas of program evaluation.
Dr. Aguilar-Amaya served nearly 25 years working in the Arizona Judiciary in various
capacities, having worked with juvenile and adult probationers as well as crime victims. She has
conducted dozens of research studies and numerous ad hoc reports in the areas of population
projections, cost savings analysis, reentry, recidivism, Drug Courts, substance abuse, evidence-
based practices, and probation supervision. Dr. Aguilar-Amaya possesses the following
certifications: Real Colors Facilitator by the National Curriculum & Training Institute, ACEs
Trainer by the Arizona ACEs Consortium, CTC Facilitator by the UW, The Center for
Communities that Care, Arizona Court Management Program and the Executive Court
Management Program by the National Center for State Courts, Advanced Public Speaker by
Achieve Global, and as a Motivational Interviewing Facilitator. Dr. Aguilar-Amaya possesses a
Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice with a minor in Communications, a Masters in
Organizational Management, and a Doctorate in Management and Organizational Leadership.
She served as President for the Arizona Evaluation Network (AZENet), as a Director at Large for
the Arizona Courts Association, and as a member of the Arizona Governor's Office Substance
Abuse Epidemiology Work Group.