Melissa Kovacs is a statistician with a Ph.D. in public policy and econometrics and is the founder of FirstEval, LLC, a data analytics and statistical consulting firm. Melissa has provided statistical expertise in the nonprofit, corporate, and government sectors, and within litigation settings. Specifically, she has worked in the areas of homelessness and housing data in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area; big jail data in the nation’s 5th-largest County jail system; education data at many levels of government; and data related to poverty. She recently completed an Arizona statewide study of women business owners and has advised Arizonans on female entrepreneurship. She holds a Graduate Statistician (GStat) certification from the American Statistical Association. Previously she has held faculty positions at Arizona State University in the Schools of Public Affairs and Sustainability, Allegheny College, and a Fulbright professorship at the Universität Duisburg-Essen in Germany. She recently was the Research Director for Maricopa County’s (AZ) Justice System Planning and Information department, where she oversaw numerous research and evaluation projects of the criminal justice system and the intersection of health and justice. Previously she held an evaluation position with Cisco Systems in Corporate Affairs. She also holds a board position on the Arizona Violent Death Reporting System Advisory Board and volunteers for the Phoenix chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Sub-specialties: Homelessness data, Housing, Jail data, Female entrepreneurship, Poverty and Sustainability 

Articles, Publications, Appearances