Staff DirectoryLeadership Team

Linc Smith
Executive Chair

Linc assumed the role of Metis’s Executive Chair upon the firm’s acquisition by Inspired Holdings Public Benefit Corp, which he founded and leads as its largest shareholder. Inspired Holdings is building a family of firms to tackle a massive societal challenge – helping its clients make systems change to advance child/youth learning, development, well-being, and success. He’s an experienced CEO with a demonstrated history of growing social sector consultancies. He’s also led the execution of more than a dozen merger and acquisition transactions – not as an intermediary or advisor, but as the lead executive operator. Before founding Inspired Holdings, Linc led Altarum Institute, first as COO, then as its CEO since 2007. During his tenure, Altarum grew its health-focused mission field more than five times, and continually invested in refining its focus on public health and health equity, continuing to thrive.

Marilyn Zlotnik
President and Chief Executive Officer

Marilyn Zlotnik assumed the role of President and CEO of Metis in July 2022. Since coming to the company almost 30 years ago, Marilyn has served in a continuum of leadership roles, most recently as Chief Operating Officer. As President and CEO, Marilyn leads the design and execution of Metis’s strategic plan and oversees critical initiatives in the areas of operations, marketing and business development, and internal and external communications. Marilyn works diligently with her colleagues to fulfill the mission and operationalize the values that have been collectively established by the firm’s Leadership Team. The proud daughter of two lifelong New York City educators and a former high school teacher, Marilyn’s professional interests center on K-16 educational programming, including a focus on magnet schools, arts in education programs, and college and career access. Since 1994 Marilyn has led Metis’s grant writing service area, which has secured more than $625 million in competitive grants for our clients.

Claire Aulicino
Managing Senior Associate

Claire Aulicino leads Metis’s work for school districts and other organizations pursuing equitable and integrated learning environments. A significant component of her work since 2001, Claire directs the evaluation of magnet and other special academic and choice programs specifically designed to foster racial/ethnic and socioeconomic integration within public schools. She also heads a team of Metis researchers who develop and conduct evaluations of various initiatives in K-12 and human services. These include educational technology, STEM education, charter schools, out-of-school time, college readiness and success, youth development, and juvenile and criminal justice prevention.

Dr. Susanne Harnett
Managing Senior Associate

Dr. Susanne Harnett leads our work in arts education and engagement, overseeing a team of Metis researchers and evaluators with particular expertise in this focus area. Since 1999, Susanne has been the principal investigator on the study of several large-scale educational initiatives in New York City and other urban school districts around the country. She has a wide range of interests in educational evaluation, including literacy, school counseling, high school reform, and teacher professional development, among other areas. Susanne is also an expert in designing and directing rigorous impact studies of these types of initiatives, and a seasoned presenter of study findings to different audiences.

Donna Wilkens
Managing Senior Associate

Donna Wilkens is a seasoned program evaluator and researcher with a keen professional interest in studying efforts related to children, families, and communities. She directs large-scale studies of education interventions, such as community schools, out-of-school time programs, teen pregnancy prevention, and school climate and culture transformation initiatives. Donna also is an expert grant writer, and she helps clients win competitive grant funding to support their work in these and other areas. Based in Metis’s Atlanta office, Donna manages a team of researchers that specialize in data management and support, research design, and statistical analysis.