About Us

Palmer Wolf is a woman-owned small business that offers a nationally-recognized team of senior consultants. We are equally comfortable and experienced working with direct service providers, funders, policy organizations, and research firms, and communicating with organizational staff, leadership, boards, and constituents.

Our founders are former executives and developmental psychologists who together have nearly a century of experience working as researchers, evaluators, planners, and management consultants in the United States and abroad. Each has worked as an educator, from teaching at preschools to holding faculty appointments at Harvard, Brown, and Georgetown Universities.  Each can draw on multiple areas of expertise, from child development to educational policy, strategic planning to non-profit management. And while each founder has a particular set of skills – whether planning, implementation assessment, or summative evaluation – organizations benefit from integrated perspectives offered by whole team.

Our Team

Dr. Dennie Palmer Wolf

Dr. Dennie Palmer Wolf, Principal Researcher at WolfBrown, is one of the leading arts education researchers and evaluators in the United States. She holds a doctorate from Harvard where she served as a researcher at Project Zero for more than a decade and then headed Harvard PACE, an initiative linking schools and external partners in new approaches to assessing student learning. She led studies on the early development of artistic and symbolic capacities and later focused on design, implementation, and evaluation strategies that help cultural organizations and communities examine and improve how people gain access to learning, culture, and creativity both in and outside of formal institutions.

Nationally, Wolf has helped a number of city-wide and regional consortia build coordinated systems that support critical and creative learning for young people in and out of school time, in cities as varied as Boston, Chicago, Dallas, and Portland, OR. Based on this work, Wolf conducted a strategic review of all aspects of arts education for the National Endowment for the Arts. She was a three-term appointee to the National Assessment Governing Board, the federal agency that measures student learning nationally. Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for Arts, the U.S. Department of Education, the Buck, Arnold, Carnegie, Mellon, Spencer, and William Penn foundations, and has appeared in numerous peer-reviewed journals and books.

Dr. Thomas Wolf

Dr. Thomas Wolf’s career spans over four decades and encompasses the fields of philanthropy, education and the arts. He served as the founding Director of the New England Foundation for the Arts for seven years before establishing other consulting firms including The Wolf Organization; Wolf, Keens & Company; and WolfBrown.

His clients have included many of the largest U.S. foundations, government agencies, and treasured international nonprofit institutions. He has worked directly with major cities, including Chicago, Cleveland, Charlotte, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Philadelphia, and Dallas. His workshops and convocations for trustees, administrators, and volunteers have earned him national recognition.

Tom holds a doctorate in education from Harvard, where he taught for a number of years. He is the author of Managing a Nonprofit Organization, Effective Leadership for Nonprofit Organizations, and How to Connect With Donors, among numerous articles and books.

Dr. Steven John Holochwost

Dr. Steven John Holochwost is a developmental psychologist who leads evaluations of programs designed to improve the lives of vulnerable children and youth and whose research focuses on the effects of environment, particularly poverty and parenting, on voluntary forms of self-regulation (e.g., executive functions) and the involuntary activity of neurophysiological systems that support self-regulatory abilities. His areas of specialization include the use of mixed quantitative and qualitative methods in program evaluation and the application of advanced analytics to longitudinal data. His work has been supported by the National Endowment for Arts, the U.S. Department of Education, and the William Penn, Mellon, Arnold, and Buck Family Foundations.

Before joining Palmer Wolf, Dr. Holochwost was Associate Director of Research at the University of Delaware’s Early Learning Center and a Senior Assistant Child Advocate with the Office of the Child Advocate for the State of New Jersey. He earned his Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill as a National Science Foundation Fellow and a masters degree in public affairs from the Fels Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jane Culbert

Jane Culbert provides WolfBrown with expertise in comparative research and financial analysis. She earned her business acumen first-hand, managing the fiscal and related office affairs of three of Boston’s cultural institutions. From 1985 on, she served as an integral member of research, evaluation, and community planning teams, providing financial examinations that are central to their integrity.

She evaluates clients’ internal budgeting and accounting systems, devises framework budgets for five-year projections based on past performance, and oversees and analyses community-wide financial and economic activity research. She also has conducted comparative community/best practice research for a number of WolfBrown cultural and organizational plans. In addition, she has developed, implemented, and analyzed the results of a variety of online surveys of program participants, community organizations, and others.  Jane earned her Bachelor’s Degree, magna cum laude, from Carleton College and has served as treasurer of Arlington Schools Foundation.