Please see below for the current list of confirmed speakers. Be sure to check back for additional updates!
Founder and CEO, Rewired for Change
Actress (The Wire, Body of Proof, Slam)
Sonja Sohn was born and raised in the south, primarily in Newport News, VA, to an African American father and Korean mother who met in Korea just after the Korean War. After a youth filled with love, struggle, sexual and emotional abuse, drug addiction and small triumphs, Sohn set her sights on New York City where she briefly attended various colleges, married and raised two daughters.
Eventually, Sohn found herself pursuing a career in the arts. After dabbling in fine arts as a painter, she became one of the pioneers in the spoken word scene in New York in the nineties, which eventually led to a Warner Bros/Coalition/Arthrob recording contract in London where she launched an album, under the name, “Fini Dolo,” a collaboration between her and British music producer, Noel Watson. After 5 years of studying acting under the tutelage of renowned acting coach, Susan Batson, Sohn landed the lead female role in “SLAM,” directed by Marc Levin and co-written by her and the principle cast of the film. “SLAM” became a festival darling in 1998 when it won the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize and the Camera D’or at the Cannes Film Festival in France. That same year, she and co-star, Saul Williams, won the IFP Gotham Award for Best Breakthrough Performance for their roles in “SLAM”. Thus, began Sohn’s official acting career and the road that led to her eventual calling: intertwining her career in the arts with her passion for social justice and activism.
Sohn was inspired to start ReWired for Change in 2008 by her own life’s journey and her work on the ground during the course of the 2008 presidential election. That year, she and her colleagues from HBO’s critically acclaimed series, “The Wire,” devoted their efforts to working with National Urban League President, Marc Morial, to empower and educate voters on the importance of their vote across Virginia, North Carolina and in Philadelphia. It was during this time that she witnessed the impact “The Wire” cast had on community members who were living in impoverished neighborhoods. Sohn saw, firsthand, how celebrity can be used responsibly to influence the lives of people who are often left out of the social equation. She was particularly moved by how often the act of one inspired another and continued to ripple throughout these communities.
Something had to be done to continue to nurture the seed of change planted by Sohn and her colleagues; immediately following the campaign trail, she began to galvanize the support of the rest of “The Wire” cast and crew and devise ways in which they could use their creative resources and media access as a force for change in the lives of high risk youth, adults and families living in disadvantaged areas. Sohn envisioned an effort to take high risk young people on a journey towards self awareness and becoming productive citizens who contribute to the well being of their communities. During the early years of her work on the ground, she quickly began to realize that youth cannot heal without the support of a healthy family and community to come home to and began to focus her efforts on creating a wholistic, all inclusive approach to sustainable individual and community healing and empowerment.
As illustrated by Sonja Sohn’s work on “SLAM” and “The Wire,” her leadership of ReWired For Change and as a two time NAACP Image Award nominee and recipient of the Harvard Black Men’s Forum 2011 Woman of the Year Award, she has demonstrated her ability to fuse together her entertainment expertise with a passion for redirecting the lives of our nation’s most endangered populations. With ReWired For Change, Sohn continues to develop the ultimate vehicle for what she believes to be her life’s purpose: to educate, uplift, empower and unite the marginalized and underserved populations of the world. For more information on Rewired For Change, please visit rewired4change.org.
Senior Vice President, Save the Children's U.S. Programs
Mark K. Shriver leads Save the Children's U.S. Programs, which works to ensure a fair start for all children in the United States, including the nearly one in four living in poverty. Shriver developed Save the Children’s early childhood development, literacy and health programs, which benefit more than 76,000 children in some of the most impoverished regions of the country. Studies reveal that 68 percent of children showed major improvement after participating in the literacy program and the percentage reading at or above grade level more than doubled from the start of the school year to the end.
Shriver also created Save the Children’s domestic emergencies unit, which works to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children before, during, and after disasters through preparedness and response programs, as well as advocacy at the federal, state, and local level. Shriver was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1994 to 2002. In 1988, Shriver founded the innovative Choice Program, which serves delinquent and at-risk youth through intensive, community-based counseling.
Shriver received his B.A. from The College of the Holy Cross in 1986 and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University in 1993. He has received honorary degrees from Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland and from The College of the Holy Cross. He resides in Bethesda, Maryland with his wife, Jeanne, and their three children, Molly, Tommy and Emma. Shriver’s New York Times and Washington Post best-selling memoir, “A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent Shriver,” was published in June 2012 by Henry Holt.
Vice President for Program Operations and Director of Child Health Quality, Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS)
Kamala Allen is the vice president for program operations and director of child health quality at the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS). In these roles, Ms. Allen is responsible for ensuring the quality and efficiency of overall organizational programming and for providing direct oversight of all CHCS’ child-focused initiatives. She has extensive experience in the application of quality improvement methodologies and the use of managed care in public child-serving systems. She is responsible for the direction and financial management of the Children in Managed Care initiative, which has been funded since 1995 by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Prior to assuming her current responsibilities, Ms. Allen was associate director for special projects for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Medicaid Managed Care Program, where she oversaw the development and execution of state agency training programs in health care quality, and served as associate director for program analysis and communications. She also worked as a program analyst in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Maternal and Child Health Bureau’s Office of Program Development, where she was a contributing author to the 1994 Bureau White Paper and the project coordinator for the states’ responses to the Title V Block Grant Guidance. Ms. Allen was the project coordinator at the Centers for Disease Control’s Maryland Center for Adolescent Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, where she co-developed and oversaw the implementation of a school-based health promotion curriculum in two Baltimore middle schools.
Ms. Allen holds a master of health science in maternal and child health from the Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Hygiene and Public Health. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in developmental disabilities from the University of California at Los Angeles.
Karen M. Ashby
Presiding Judge, Denver Juvenile Court
Judge Ashby graduated from Williams College in 1979 with a B.A. degree in Spanish Literature. Prior to her appointment to the bench, Judge Ashby served as a Deputy State Public Defender in the Denver Trial Office from 1983-1988. She opened a solo practice in 1988, emphasizing on family and criminal trial and appellate law. Judge Ashby was appointed by the Aurora City Council in 1995 as a Municipal Court Judge where she served half-time while maintaining her private practice until her appointment to the Denver Juvenile Court.
Judge Ashby was appointed to the Denver Juvenile Court in September 1998 and was appointed as the Presiding Judge of the Denver Juvenile Court nine months later, a position she still holds. Judge Ashby is the Lead Judge for the Denver Best Practice Court, previously one of three Model Courts in Colorado, that is committed to best practice in Dependency and Neglect cases. As Presiding Judge of the Court, Judge Ashby has been instrumental in implementing problem-solving court practices and has presided over the Family Integrated Drug Court docket for the Court since 2003.
Judge Ashby is the co-chair of the Colorado Judiciary’s Court Improvement Project and has been a member since 1999. She was also appointed by the Chief Justice to serve as a member of the Commission on Families in the Colorado Courts and the Standing Committee on Family Issues. Nationally, Judge Ashby served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) from 2003-2011, was co-chair of the NCJFCJ’s Diversity Committee, and remains a member of the Permanency Planning for Children Advisory Committee. Judge Ashby was also instrumental in Denver, having been chosen as one of the original Crossover Youth practice sites implementing the Crossover Youth Practice Model developed by Georgetown University’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform.
Commissioner of Health, Baltimore City, Maryland
Oxiris Barbot, M.D., was appointed Commissioner of Health for Baltimore City on July 7, 2010. As the City's primary health official, Dr. Barbot leads the Mayor's comprehensive health policy agenda, Healthy Baltimore 2015, that articulates 10 priority areas and indicators for action to improve the health outcomes for all residents. This plan highlights areas in which the largest impact can be made to reduce morbidity and mortality while improving health equity and quality of life for all Baltimoreans.
As Commissioner of Health for Baltimore City, Dr. Barbot is focused on promoting health equity and community engagement. She leads an agency of approximately 1,200 employees with a budget of approximately $138 million. The Health Department is responsible for numerous areas of health policy and programs including control of infectious diseases, school health, emergency preparedness, maternal-child health, restaurant inspections, animal control, and chronic disease prevention.
Dr. Barbot comes to the Health Department from the Office of School Health at the New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Department of Education, having served as medical director there since 2003. During her tenure, she implemented an electronic health record -- an innovative systemic change that benefited 1.1 million public school students. Before working in New York, Dr. Barbot was Chief of Pediatrics and Community Medicine at Unity Health Care, Inc. in Washington, D.C. Dr. Barbot received her bachelor’s degree from Yale University and holds a medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She completed her residency at George Washington University’s Children’s National Medical Center. In 2010, the National Hispanic Medical Association recognized Dr. Barbot with the Hispanic Health Leadership Award for her leadership and work on addressing health matters that impact the Hispanic community.
Senior Associate Director, Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
Kent Berkley, Esq. is Senior Associate Director at the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative in St. Louis, Missouri. The Initiative is a national foundation working to improve outcomes for young people in, and exiting from, the child welfare system. Mr. Berkley has dedicated nearly three decades of work as a lawyer representing children and youth, as a national consultant advocating improved system performance for children and youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, and as an implementer of promising and evidence-based practices and policies.
As Senior Associate Director, Mr. Berkley leads the Initiative's development of evidence-based standards and best practices for connecting older youth to family supports. He helped develop the Initiative's Toolkit, a series of implementation manuals for youth engagement and leadership, community partnerships, and increased opportunities for youth transitioning to adulthood. Mr. Berkley's national consulting has been on the full spectrum of child welfare and juvenile justice issues, and has developed agency-specific best practices models, curricula, and strategic plans to achieve organizational goals and improved outcomes for children and families. He was Assistant General Counsel in the Tennessee Department of Children's Services (DCS), and represented the Department in settlement negotiations of Brian A. v. Bredesen. He then worked with DCS to create the Standards of Professional Practice for Serving Children and Families: A Model of Practice.
Mr. Berkley has authored and co-authored numerous articles and reports addressing key issues in child welfare and juvenile justice policy, most recently Supporting Youth in Transition to Adulthood: Lessons Learned from Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice for Georgetown University’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform. He has provided national and state training for continuing legal education programs on juvenile law, and has conducted workshops and onsite technical assistance for the purpose of increasing system performance and improving outcomes for children and youth.
Executive Director, American Youth Policy Forum
Betsy Brand is the Executive Director of the American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF). AYPF is a nonprofit, nonpartisan professional development organization based in Washington, D.C. that educates and informs policymakers, practitioners, and researchers working on education, workforce, and youth issues at the national, state, and local levels. AYPF’s goal is to enable policymakers to become more effective in the development, enactment, and implementation of sound policies affecting the nation’s young people by providing information, insights, and networking opportunities to better understand the development of healthy and successful young people as productive workers and participating citizens in a democratic society. Ms. Brand began working at AYPF in 1998 as Co-Director and became Executive Director in 2004.
Ms. Brand started her career in education policy on the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor and subsequently served on the U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, where she worked on all education and workforce legislation. From 1989-1993, Ms. Brand served as Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education. From 1993-1998, Ms. Brand operated her own consulting firm, Workforce Futures, Inc., focusing on policy and best practices affecting education, workforce preparation, and youth development. She is nationally known as an education policy expert in areas such as career and technical education, dropout prevention and recovery, high school reform, youth development, and expanded learning opportunities.
Director of Programs, Public Works
Patrick Bresette is the Director of Programs at Public Works. He joined the program in 2004 and since that time has played a leadership role in both the intellectual development of the program and its field work around the country. Mr. Bresette manages the presence of Public Works in the field, developing working relationships with key national, state, and local partners and designing and conducting presentations, workshops, trainings and consultations. Patrick has assisted a wide array of constituencies in their efforts to build understanding of, and support for, important public programs and services. Over the past seven years he has conducted hundreds of workshops with a diverse set of audiences and partners in over two dozen states.
Patrick joined Public Works after thirteen years as Associate Director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) in Austin, Texas, where he managed the Center’s policy team and specialized in welfare reform and TANF policy and funding. Early in his career at CPPP, Patrick managed the Texas Kids Count project and led the Center’s child advocacy efforts. Prior to his work at CPPP Mr. Bresette was a legislative aide in the Texas House of Representatives and staff to the Vice-Chair of the House Human Services Committee. He brings with him a broad understanding of how to work with and within the public sector for positive social change. Patrick has an M.P.A. from the LBJ School of Public Affairs, the University of Texas at Austin, 1991 and a B.F.A in Sculpture from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, 1982.
CEO, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
Sarah Brown is a co-founder and CEO of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, a private and independent non-profit organization working to promote values, behavior, and policies that reduce both teen pregnancy and unplanned pregnancy, especially among single, young adults. Now over 15 years old, The National Campaign has earned a solid reputation for bi-partisanship, research based programming, leadership, and innovation in using media to influence popular culture and to speak directly with teens and young adults.
Before helping to establish the Campaign in 1996, Brown was a senior study director at the Institute of Medicine, where she directed numerous studies in the broad field of maternal and child health. Her last major report there resulted in the landmark book, The Best Intentions: Unintended Pregnancy and the Well-being of Children and Families. She has served on advisory boards of national organizations including the Guttmacher Institute, the Population Advisory Board of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Harvard University Working Group on Early Life and Adolescent Health Policy, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the D.C. Mayor’s Committee on Reducing Teenage Pregnancies and Out-of Wedlock Births. She appears often in print, broadcast, and online media.
Brown has received numerous awards, including several named lectureships, the Institute of Medicine’s Cecil Award for Excellence in Research, the Martha May Elliot Award of the American Public Health Association, the John MacQueen Award for Excellence in Maternal and Child Health from the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, and the Harriet Hylton Barr Distinguished Service Award from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Brown holds an undergraduate degree from Stanford University and a Masters in Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina. She lives in Washington with her husband, Winthrop Brown. They have three grown daughters.
Senior Policy Advisor for Early Learning, Administration for Children & Families, Health & Human Services; Senior Advisor, White House Domestic Policy Council
Miriam Calderon joined the Obama Administration in August 2011, as a Senior Advisor on Early Learning Policy. Currently, she is assigned to the Education team at the Domestic Policy Council, advising on policies to support our nation's youngest learners. Prior to joining the Administration, Ms. Calderon served as the Director of Early Childhood Education at DCPS, where she oversaw Head Start and pre-kindergarten programs serving nearly 5,500 children in 84 elementary schools throughout the city.
She also served as the Associate Director of Education Policy at the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic civil rights organization where she focused specifically on early education policy for Hispanic and English language learner children. She is a social worker by training and began her career in early education working as a mental health consultant in Head Start programs in Portland, Oregon.
She holds a BA in Sociology with a Social Welfare concentration from the University of Delaware and a Masters in Social Work from Portland State University. She has published several reports on early childhood education, and her work is cited in both the English and Spanish media. Ms. Calderon is a native of the District and the mother of six-year-old twins.
Commissioner, New York State Office of Children and Family Services
Gladys Carrión was appointed Commissioner of the New York State Office of Children & Family Services (OCFS) in January 2007. She oversees foster care, adoption, child protective services, preventive services, child care services, and protective programs for vulnerable adults. She is responsible for specialized programs for juvenile delinquents and juvenile offenders as well as residential facilities for youth placed in the custody of OCFS. She is responsible for directing the functions performed by the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH), and state government responses to the child welfare needs of Native Americans on reservations and in communities. Previously, she was Senior Vice President for community investment with the United Way of New York City (UWNYC). She was chiefly responsible for implementing United Way's Community Action strategy. Prior to UWNYC, she was Executive Director of Inwood House, one of the oldest youth-serving organizations in the city.
Born and raised in the Bronx, Commissioner Carrión is a graduate of Fordham University and the New York University School of Law. She was an attorney with the Bronx Legal Services Corporation, rising to managing attorney for the South Bronx office. Ms. Carrión served for three years as commissioner of the NYC Community Development Agency, where she directed a budget of $48 million, developed citywide policy and programs designed to address the human services needs of the most vulnerable citizens, and ensured the quality performance of more than 300 city-funded community-based organizations. Her tenure was marked by the first major analysis of poverty in NYC since the 1970s to determine program priorities and communities in need, and the introduction of new program areas, including violence prevention and community-based economic development.
Research Associate Professor, Health Policy Institute, Georgetown Public Policy Institute
Doreen Cavanaugh, Ph.D, is a Research Professor at the Health Policy Institute, and Professor of Mental Health Policy at Georgetown Public Policy Institute, Georgetown University. Dr. Cavanaugh has provided technical assistance for over the past 15 years to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and its grantees, the US Department of Education, the Office of National Drug Control Policy and other federal agencies on access, quality, financing and organization of treatment and recovery services for youth with substance use, mental health or co-occurring disorders, and their families. Examples of past experience include, but are not limited to, Project Director for the SAMHSA/Center for Substance Abuse Treatment’s (CSAT) 16 State Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Coordination Grant Program, substance use disorder representative to the SAMHSA/Center for Mental Health Services State Systems of Care expansion, and developer and facilitator of numerous SAMHSA national technical expert panels. She has also worked with SAMHSA/CSAT Targeted Capacity Expansion grantees, presenting webinars and providing individual consultation, and has served in a number of capacities on the SAMHSA/CSAT Joint Meeting on Treatment Effectiveness (JMATE) planning committees. Currently Dr. Cavanaugh is working with SAMHSA staff on the development of a number of initiatives related to service delivery and health care financing.
Dr. Cavanaugh has also provided technical assistance to the National Association of State Alcohol/Drug Abuse Directors, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, National Academy for State Health Policy, National Conference of State Legislatures, Reclaiming Futures, Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, and numerous other national level organizations. In addition she has consulted with the majority of States, several Native American Tribes and US territories on topics including but not limited to behavioral health system design, financing and organization, infrastructure development, interagency collaboration, workforce development, performance measurement and dissemination of evidence-based practices.
Dr. Cavanaugh received her Ph.D. in Social Policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University.
Superintendent, Lafayette Parish School System
Dr. Cooper received his education at LSU in Baton Rouge with the following degrees: Bachelor of Science in Biology/Physics; Master of Education in Special Education (Emotionally Disturbed); Specialist of Education in Special Education Administration; and a Doctorate of Education in Administration from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado. His certification areas are biology, general science, physics and socially maladjusted and emotionally disturbed. Other areas of certification are Principal, Supervisor of Instruction and City/Parish Local Superintendent.
Dr. Cooper began his career as an Educational Supervisor at Blundon Home in Baton Rouge, an institution for delinquent and maladjusted children. He worked as a Supervisor of student teachers at Southern University and LSU, and later returned to the classroom as a teacher at Valley Park Junior High in Baton Rouge. He has worked with the Louisiana State Department of Education as a State Supervisor of Program for the Emotionally Disturbed and Autistic; as a Director in the Bureau of Program Specialists; an Assistant Superintendent in Office of Special Education Services; and Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services.
Dr. Cooper has worked as a Principal at Southeast Louisiana State Hospital in Mandeville and as an Adjunct Professor at LSU, Southern University, Southeastern University and also at Midwestern University in Wichita Falls, Texas. He has served as an Executive Assistant to the Chancellor at LSU, an Executive Director for the National School Health Education Coalition (NaSHEC) in Washington, D.C., and as a Senior Education Program Consultant at Kennedy Institute. Dr. Cooper has been a Superintendent in West Feliciana Parish and McComb School District in McComb, Mississippi. Prior to becoming the Superintendent of the Lafayette Parish School System, he was the CEO of the Early Childhood and Family Learning Foundation in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Managing Director, Casey Family Programs
Chiemi Terasawa Davis is the Managing Director of the Technical Assistance Unit within Systems Improvement at Casey Family Programs in Seattle, Washington where she has been employed for the past 18 years. The focus of the Technical Assistance Unit is to support child welfare systems through methodologies such as the Breakthrough Series Collaborative, Peer Technical Assistance, and Community and Constituency Engagement all in an effort to build capacity and sustainability in jurisdictions throughout the country which support the organizations 2020 goals.
Chiemi started her over 30 year career in Portland, Oregon in community development and health care. She was a child development specialist for Multnomah County Community Health Department and a social worker on the Family Birth Unit of Emanuel Hospital and Health Center where she worked with pregnant and post partum women and their newborns within the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. At the height of the nation’s crack cocaine epidemic, she was the Clinical Coordinator for Project Network, a grant-funded substance abuse treatment program for pregnant and postpartum women and their children; here she developed programming and grants to serve this population. In 1995, Chiemi began work at Casey Family Programs in the Portland Division where she served as the Social Work Supervisor and subsequently as Division Director in 1998. She was instrumental in the development of Neighborhood Foster Care, a collaboration with the State of Oregon to tailor foster care services for children and families in their own neighborhoods with the focus on kinship and sibling care. In 2000, she took a leave from the Portland Division to lead the strategic planning process for the organization.
Chiemi’s passion and dedication stem from her perspective as an adopted child and her commitment to making a valuable contribution and difference in the lives of children, families and building hope communities.
Director, Missouri Division of Youth Services
Tim Decker was appointed as the Director of the Missouri Division of Youth Services in January 2007. For the past 28 years, he has served in a variety of leadership positions with the Missouri Department of Social Services and the Greater Kansas City Local Investment Commission (LINC), one of Missouri’s innovative public/private community partnerships focused on citizen engagement, local governance, natural helping networks, and neighborhood-based services. Tim previously served as a program manager and administrator with the Division of Youth Services from 1984 – 1993. During this time, the agency was engaged in major system transformation towards more humane, therapeutic, developmental, and effective approaches to juvenile justice. Tim managed programs throughout Missouri’s continuum of care including community, moderate, and secure care facilities and served as an Assistant Regional Administrator in the Northwest Region.
Tim worked from 1994-1995 with the Missouri Family & Community Trust statewide system change initiative and has served as a social worker, therapist, and treatment coordinator with agencies in the private non-profit sector. Tim was certified as a national trainer for Families and Schools Together from 1999 - 2007, an exemplary model prevention program with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).
Tim earned his degree in Social Work and Psychology in 1982 from Park University in Parkville, Missouri and completed the Institute for Education Leadership Education Policy Fellowship Program in 2007. Tim serves as a frequent presenter on topics such as juvenile justice reform, results-based accountability, family and community engagement, and organizational leadership, management, and culture change.
President and CEO, Families International
Susan N. Dreyfus is president and CEO of Families International, the parent organization of the Alliance for Children and Families, United Neighborhood Centers of America (UNCA), Ways to Work, and FEI Behavioral Health. In addition, she is president and CEO of the Alliance; CEO of UNCA and Ways to Work; and a member of the FEI Behavioral Health Board of Directors. Prior to joining Families International on Jan. 3, 2012, Dreyfus was Secretary for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. She was appointed by Governor Chris Gregoire in May 2009 and served as a member of the Governor’s Executive Cabinet. She had responsibility for Medicaid, aging and long-term care, child welfare, behavioral health care, juvenile justice, economic assistance, and other human services.
Dreyfus has rejoined the Families International group of organizations. She served as senior vice president and chief operating officer for both Families International and the Alliance from 2003-2007. In 1996 she was appointed by the Governor Tommy G. Thompson Administration in Wisconsin to be the first administrator of the Division of Children and Family Services. Her responsibilities included child welfare, child care quality and licensing, youth development and an array of emergency assistance and other community programs.
Dreyfus is a member of Leadership 18, a coalition of CEOs from the largest and most respected nonprofit organizations in America. She is also a member of the American Public Human Services Association Board of Directors. Dreyfus enjoys reading the biographies of the United States presidents, being with her family—especially her two grandchildren, and has run four marathons.
Policy Advisor, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Indivar Dutta-Gupta joined the Center in January 2011. As Senior Policy Advisor, his work primarily focuses on federal budget and tax policies and cross-cutting low-income issues. Prior to joining the Center, Dutta-Gupta was Professional Staff with the United States House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support. While there, he developed and worked to enact safety net and social insurance policies, as well as low-income tax policies, with a focus on poverty measurement, unemployment insurance, refundable tax credits, and the distributional impact of policies pricing greenhouse gases.
Previously, Dutta-Gupta consulted for the Center for American Progress, where he co-authored "From Poverty to Prosperity: A National Strategy to Cut Poverty in Half." He has also consulted for Freedman Consulting, LLC on anti-poverty policy. As a 2005-2006 Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellow, Dutta-Gupta worked on Food Stamp (now called SNAP) outreach and advocacy for DC Hunger Solutions, before joining the Center for American Progress as a researcher for the Task Force on Poverty. He has also worked on issues ranging from energy and housing to national security and international development. Dutta-Gupta received his A.B. from the University of Chicago, is a Harry S. Truman Scholar, and is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance.
Director, Interagency Prevention Systems Program, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
José Esquibel is Director of Interagency Prevention Systems for Children and Youth. He is responsible for designing, directing implementation of, and evaluating an interagency system of coordination and collaboration to implement a more unified, effective, and efficient interagency system for the delivery of state and federally funded prevention, intervention, and treatment services for children and youth. In order to be effective, such an approach requires the involvement of representatives of various segments of government and community and the utilization of current best practices and principles of prevention that are based on research. Esquibel chairs the Colorado Prevention Leadership Council, an interagency collaborative group with representatives from eleven state departments, and oversees the implementation of the Colorado State Plan for Prevention, Intervention and Treatment Services for Children and Youth 2010-2013, a plan that is signed by Colorado’s governor and provides a coordinated set of goals, objectives, and strategies for improving services for children, youth, and families.
Director, Early Childhood Education, District of Columbia Public Schools
Danielle Ewen is the Director of the Office of Early Childhood Education in the District of Columbia Public Schools, where she oversees the operations of programs serving three- and four-year old children in high quality, comprehensive classrooms.
Prior to her work in DCPS, Ms. Ewen served as the Director of the Child Care and Early Education team at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). At CLASP, she worked on federal and state issues around child care and early education, particularly the reauthorizations of the Child Care and Development Block Grant and Head Start. She has written extensively about financing high quality early care and education systems, as well as the federal child care subsidy program and how it impacts low-income families, and state and local policies to create and implement early childhood programs. She is the author and co-author of numerous publications on state and federal policy, including All Together Now, a research report that examines the implementation of state pre-kindergarten programs in community-based child care settings, several reports on the use of Title I funds for early childhood programs, and analyses of federal and state child care subsidy policies.
Ms. Ewen also worked at the Children’s Defense Fund as a Senior Program Associate in the Child Care and Development Division and was the Assistant Director for the National Child Care Information Center. Early in her career, she worked as a Policy Analyst at the US Department of Education in the Office of Migrant Education, where she was involved in issues related to implementation of Chapter 1 programs, family literacy, bilingual education and evaluation. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master’s in Public Administration from Columbia University. She lives and works in Washington, DC.
Professor of Public Policy, Georgetown Public Policy Institute; Co-Director, Center for Research on Children in the U.S. (CROCUS)
William T. Gormley, Jr. is a University Professor at Georgetown University. He is also a Professor of Public Policy and Government and co-director of the Center for Research on Children in the U.S. (CROCUS). Dr. Gormley is the author or co-author of several books, including Everybody’s Children: Child Care as a Public Problem (Brookings 1995), Organizational Report Cards (Harvard University Press, 1999), and Bureaucracy and Democracy (Congressional Quarterly Press, 2003, 2007, 2011). His latest book, Voices for Children: Rhetoric and Public Policy, was published by the Brookings Institution Press in 2012. Dr. Gormley is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and a past president of the Public Policy Section of the American Political Science Association.
For the past decade, Dr. Gormley has directed the Oklahoma pre-K project, which has evaluated the state-funded pre-K program in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He and his research team have documented substantial gains in pre-reading, pre-writing, and pre-math skills for children enrolled in the school-based pre-K program in Tulsa. These findings have appeared in The Journal of Human Resources, the Policy Studies Journal, Developmental Psychology, the Social Science Quarterly, Child Development, Science, and elsewhere. The successes of Oklahoma’s pre-K program have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, and ABC News.
At Georgetown, Dr. Gormley served as Interim Dean of Public Policy for two years and was one of the founding members of Georgetown’s day care center, Hoya Kids. He teaches courses on the policymaking process, federalism and intergovernmental relations, and children and public policy. His center’s website is: http://www.crocus.georgetown.edu.
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Administration for Children and Families – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Before joining HHS, Mark H. Greenberg directed the Georgetown University Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy, a joint initiative of the Georgetown University Law Center and the Georgetown Public Policy Institute. In addition, he was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP) and the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). He previously served as the Executive Director of CAP's Task Force on Poverty and as CLASP’s Director of Policy. During his career, Mr. Greenberg has written extensively on issues relating to federal and state welfare reform efforts, workforce policy issues affecting low-income families, child care and early education policy, tax policy, poverty measurement, and a range of other low-income issues. In addition, he frequently provided technical assistance to state and local governments regarding poverty reduction strategies. Prior to coming to D.C., Mr. Greenberg worked at Jacksonville Area Legal Aid in Florida and the Western Center on Law and Poverty in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Greenberg is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.
Youth Fellow, Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
Joshua Grubb is a member of the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Young Fellows program. The Young Fellows are a group of current and former foster youth who spend time identifying, discussing, and sharing solutions on issues that affect young people transitioning from foster care.
Josh entered foster care at the age of twelve with his three siblings and was the last to remain in custody until he transitioned out of care at 18 last year. Josh swam and ran cross country and track in high school. He was also very involved in student government and various charity/service projects within his community. Furthermore, Josh worked with foster youth in his area by serving as president of the Tennessee Tri-Regional Youth for Youth Board. Graduating at the top of his class, he received a full-ride to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
At Vanderbilt, Josh is currently double-majoring in Political Science and Latin American Studies, with a minor in Art. Joshua would like to pursue a career in International Politics, specifically in Latin America. He has already risen to multiple board positions in university organizations that Josh is passionate about, such as AMIGOS, an organization that mentors at-risk youth in Nashville, and Manna International, a service organization aimed at helping those in poverty-stricken countries abroad. Josh works at Vanderbilt’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions part-time and is also a tour guide. In his free time, Josh loves to hang out with friends, toss frisbee, throw pottery, and sail.
J. David Hawkins
Endowed Professor of Prevention, University of Washington; Founding Director, Social Development Research Group – University of Washington
J. David Hawkins, Ph.D., is the Endowed Professor of Prevention and Founding Director of the Social Development Research Group, School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle. He is also Adjunct Professor of Sociology and Education. He received his B.A. from Stanford University and his Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University. His research focuses on understanding and preventing child and adolescent health and behavior problems. He seeks to identify risk and protective factors for health and behavior problems across multiple domains and to understand how these factors interact in the development of healthy behavior and the prevention of problem behaviors.
Dr. Hawkins is principal investigator of the Community Youth Development Study, a randomized field experiment involving 24 communities across seven states testing the effectiveness of the Communities That Care prevention system developed by Hawkins and Richard F. Catalano. For its first 25 years, he was Principal Investigator of the Seattle Social Development Project, a study of urban youth development with preventive interventions nested in a field trial. He is an author of more than 300 research articles and book chapters and has published several books. He is the developer of prevention programs for parents and families, including Guiding Good Choices, Staying Connected with Your Teen, Supporting School Success, and the school-based program, Raising Healthy Children. His prevention work is guided by the social development model, his theory of human behavior.
Dr. Hawkins is a current member of the Institute of Medicine’s Board on Children, Youth and Families, the recipient of the 2012 Joseph E. Zins Award for Action Research in Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), and the 2012 Presidential Award from the Society for Prevention Research. He is committed to translating research into effective practice and policy to improve adolescent health and development.
President and CEO, Sierra Health Foundation
Chet P. Hewitt is the President and CEO of Sierra Health Foundation and its independent operating unit, the Center for Health Program Management. Since beginning his tenure in 2007, Chet has focused foundation investments on health disparities, health equity, and the healthy development and well-being of vulnerable youth. His leadership, thoughtful risk-taking, and innovative approach to management have increased the foundation’s impact, reach and influence.
Prior to joining the foundation, Chet spent five years as the Agency Director of Alameda County’s Social Services Agency, where he is credited with transforming its failing child welfare system into a national model and using technology to improve the delivery of human services. Previously, he served as Associate Director for the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, established and managed its West Coast regional office in San Francisco, and led its national employment and community building initiatives. Chet has received several national awards, including the Annie E. Casey Foundation Child and Family Leaders Fellowship and Child Welfare Administrator of the Year. Chet is a frequent lecturer on philanthropy and public sector leadership, and advises localities around the country on issues related to the transformation of public systems. Chet serves on several boards, including Grantmakers in Health, Sacramento Steps Forward, Roberts Enterprise Development Fund, The Sacramento Foundation and St. John’s Shelter for Women and Children.
Born and raised in New York City, Chet credits life experience as the primary source of his commitment to serve those less fortunate than himself. He is also driven by his desire to ensure that his two young sons, and all children, have every opportunity to grow up healthy, safe and prepared for their roles as vital members of our communities.
M. Rene Islas
Director, Learning Forward Center for Results
M. René Islas is the Director of the Learning Forward Center for Results, the fee-for-service consulting division of Learning Forward, an international professional association. He launched the Center for Results under a “social enterprise” business model to support leaders in education in developing systems to improve teacher effectiveness and implement quality practice in educator professional learning. René has over a decade of experience in leading education reform through practical and policy work at the federal, state, and local levels. He developed the Pathway to Achievement, a highly successful school improvement framework that is currently being implemented in elementary and secondary schools across the United States. René joined Learning Forward after serving as the Senior Vice President of an international consulting firm where he launched the K-12 Education Practice. René was recognized at the firm for innovation in client service after developing a new business line of direct consulting to school systems.
René is a recognized expert in education public policy, working in the public and private sectors. His government experience includes service as the Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary of Education. He managed the overall operations, policy development, and administration of programs within the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education that is responsible for the majority of programs in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. René played a pivotal role in the creation of the Teacher Incentive Fund and the School Improvement Grant programs that became priorities across the Bush and Obama administrations. René has experience representing the U.S. Department of Education on issues of teacher quality and working with coalitions of state government education agencies to address teacher supply and demand. He advised and supported the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.Jann Jackson
Senior Associate of Policy Reform and Advocacy, Annie E. Casey Foundation
Chairperson, Child Welfare Organizing Project
Ms. Killett is the mother of two boys: Sam, age 19, and Simeon, age 17. A parent that was affected by New York City Children Services (ACS), she believes the only way to address issues that affect families is to have families at the table in partnership, strengthening the communities in which they live by providing preventive services.
Ms. Killett is Board Chair of the Child Welfare Organizing Project, an organization created to coordinate parents and address policies that adversely affect families in child welfare. She is a parent leader, graduate of the Child Welfare Organizing Project Leadership Curriculum New York City, and a member leader since 2005. She is currently serving on the Commissioner's Advisory Board, New York City Children Services (ACS) and is Co-Chair of the Racial Equity Committee at New York City Children Service addressing the issue of disproportionality and disparities in child welfare. Ms. Killett is also Co-Chair of the Parent Advisory Work Group at New York City Children Services (ACS) established by ACS in partnership with the Child Welfare Organizing Project to bring the voice of parents directly to the Commissioner of New York City Children Services.
Ms. Killett received the Child Welfare Fund Best Practice Award from Council of Family Child Care Agencies (COFCCA) in 2009 for her work in changing the child welfare field for the better. She is a former Parent Advocate of The Children's Village in New York City and established the Undoing Racism Committee at The Children's Village with the Chief Operating Officer in 2010. Additionally, she is a member of the State Policy Advocacy and Reform Center Advisory Board (SPARC) commissioned by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Jim Casey Youth Opportunities with First Focus, a non-partisan center designed to enhance the existing network of State Child Welfare policy advocates.
Judge of the Juvenile Court, Miami-Dade County, Florida
Elected to the bench in 1988, Judge Cindy S. Lederman has served in the Miami-Dade Juvenile Court since 1994, including a decade as the Court’s Presiding Judge. Judge Lederman’s interest in bringing science and research into the courtroom results from her 10 year involvement with the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences. Judge Lederman was a member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Family Violence Interventions and Panel on Juvenile Crime, Treatment and Control and has served from 1996 to 2004 on the Board of Children, Youth and Families of the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. She served as a President of the National Association of Women Judges, faculty member of the National Judicial College, member of the ABA House of Delegates, and member of the Board of Trustees of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.
In 2008 Judge Lederman presented at an invited address, “How Judges Use Neuroscience to Break the Cycle of Maltreatment, The Science of Learning, Behavior, and Health,” a Colloquium Series presented by The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. In March 2011, Judge Lederman presented an invited address entitled “Science Informed Jurisprudence” at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) in Montreal. Judge Lederman’s recent book, entitled “Child-Centered Practices for the Courtroom and Community: A Guide to Working Effectively with Young Children in the Child Welfare System,” written with Lynne Katz, Ed.D, and Joy Osofsky, Ph.D., is available from Brookes Publishing Co.
Judge Lederman graduated with high honors from the University of Florida in 1976 and Departmental Honors in Political Science, and received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Miami Law School in 1979. She is licensed to practice law in the states of Florida and New York.
Karina Jimenez Lewis
Senior Policy Associate, Annie E. Casey Foundation
Karina Jiménez Lewis is a Senior Policy Associate in the External Affairs Unit at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, one of the nation’s largest and most influential private philanthropies focused on improving the lives of our nation’s most vulnerable children and youth. She is interested in the policy and practice implications at the intersection of child welfare and education, and leads the Casey Foundation’s national and state-level portfolio to improve the educational outcomes of students in foster care through school stability policies. In this role, Karina leads state-level technical assistance teams that help ensure well-intended policies have the desired impact on outcomes for students placed in foster care. Prior to joining the Casey Foundation, she worked for more than a decade at the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), where she served first as a caseworker in permanency practice, and later as a child welfare policy consultant.
In addition to her policy-related work, Karina has also held a variety of community-based, direct care service positions as counselor for adolescents placed in independent living skills programs; as a community outreach worker; and as field worker providing after-hours crisis intervention services to families and children at risk of placement. Karina views these positions, along with her experience at a public child welfare agency, as key building blocks in her knowledge and understanding of the child protection system in the United States.
Karina serves her community in various volunteer roles and is a firm believer in the influence of the social work profession to inform and impact social change. A fluent speaker, reader, and writer of Spanish, she is a graduate of Elms College in Massachusetts and of the University of Connecticut, School of Social Work, where she earned a Master of Social Work degree in Policy Practice in 2005.
Senior Associate, FrameWorks Institute
Yndia Lorick-Wilmot is a Senior Associate at the FrameWorks Institute with responsibilities for both Research and Field building. Lorick-Wilmot is a trained sociologist in the areas of race, ethnic identity, immigration, family, and human services. Prior to joining FrameWorks, Lorick-Wilmot held a post-doctoral fellowship in sociology at the Panamanian Council of New York in collaboration with the Institute for Pan American Affairs on a project entitled “Opening Doors to African Descendants in Panama.” She has served as a consultant for nonprofits, philanthropic foundations, and several research centers in Boston and New York City in the areas of public policy research, program management, evaluation and content analysis. She has served as senior lecturer for Northeastern University’s College for Professional Studies since 2001.
Lorick-Wilmot has authored and presented papers at academic conferences that explore the experiences of marginalized racial-ethnics and immigrants through a lens that emphasizes reducing inequality. She is the author of the book Creating Black Caribbean Ethnic Identity, which is part of the series The New Americans: Recent Immigration and American Society (LFB Academic Publishing). Currently, she is working on a new manuscript on the topic of internarrative identity and race. Lorick-Wilmot holds a B.A. in sociology from Trinity College (Connecticut), a Graduate Certificate in women’s studies from the Radcliffe Consortium in Women’s Studies, and both an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Northeastern University.
Maryland State Superintendent of Schools
Excellence, Equity, Efficiency — the three areas Maryland’s newly appointed State Superintendent of Schools said she is capitalizing on for every student, teacher, and administrator throughout the State.
In April 2012, the Maryland State Board of Education appointed Dr. Lillian M. Lowery to take the helm of the nation’s number-one ranked State school system on July 1, 2012. In assuming her new role as Maryland State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Lowery expressed that she is excited to take Maryland’s outstanding education system to the next level—implementing the initiatives of the State’s third wave of education reform; supported by the federal Race to the Top [RTTT] grant.
Prior to coming to Maryland, Dr. Lowery was appointed Secretary of Education for the State of Delaware. She received her Doctorate of Education degree in Education and Policy Studies from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Education from North Carolina Central University. She was a Fellow in the Broad Foundation’s Urban Superintendents Academy in 2004.
Public Health Advisor, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Eric Lulow currently works as a public health advisor with SAMHSA and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Middle Tennessee State University. In addition, he is also an alumnus of the foster care system. Since that time, Eric has been passionate about representing youth voices in a variety of advocacy roles. He currently serves as a board member for FosterClub and the National Foster Care Coalition. He has conducted trainings for youth on leadership, community involvement, policy advocacy, strategic sharing, and group development. He also conducts trainings for adults on youth engagement, working with youth who have experienced trauma, and creating effective youth-adult partnerships.
Executive Director, Zero to Three
As Executive Director of ZERO TO THREE, Matthew Melmed is an internationally recognized leader and tireless advocate devoted to promoting the health and development of infants and toddlers. Bringing together the perspectives of many fields, specialties, and cutting-edge research about the importance of early experiences, Mr. Melmed is committed to translating what we know into what we do for very young children and their families.
Since 1995 he has guided the considerable growth of the organization’s activities in support of professionals, policymakers and parents in their efforts to improve the lives of infants and toddlers. Under his leadership, ZERO TO THREE has launched a number of major programmatic and policy initiatives. Mr. Melmed served as the first elected Chair of the Children’s Leadership Council, a coalition of 55 leading national policy and advocacy organizations working to improve the health, education and well-being of America’s children and youth. He is the immediate past Chair of the Board of the Food Research and Action Center, the nation’s leading anti-hunger advocacy organization. In addition, he serves as Vice-Chair on the Board of Generations United and as a Trustee of the Turrell Fund in New Jersey.
Mr. Melmed served for 13 years as Executive Director of the Connecticut Association for Human Services and prior to that was a Managing Attorney for Connecticut Legal Services. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of SUNY Binghamton and received his Juris Doctor degree from SUNY Buffalo.
Dean, Georgetown Public Policy Institute
Edward Montgomery has served as the Dean of the Georgetown Public Policy Institute (GPPI) since 2010. He is leading the process of creating a new School of Public Policy at Georgetown. Prior to joining GPPI, he served on President Obama’s Auto Task Force as Executive Director of the White House Council for Auto Communities and Workers. From 2003 to 2008, he served as the Dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland, where he had been on the Economics Department faculty since 1990. He also worked in the Clinton administration as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor, where he oversaw the operations of a $33 billion agency.
Dean Montgomery is an economist, and his research has focused on state and local economic growth, wage and pension determination, savings behavior, productivity and economic dynamics, social insurance programs, and unions. In 2011, he was elected as a Fellow of the National Academic of Public Administration, and he has been a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research for over two decades. He has been on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University, Michigan State University, and the University of Maryland. In addition, he has held visiting positions at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and The Urban Institute.
Dean Montgomery has a B.S. (Honors) in Economics from Pennsylvania State University, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University.
Senior Education Consultant, Education and Workforce Solutions
Dr. John Mick Moore received his Master’s Degree and Ph.D. from the University of Washington. He completed the Superintendent’s Certificate Program at Seattle Pacific University and is a current fellow at Georgetown University’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform. He has served as a classroom teacher, university faculty member, researcher, and educational administrator. He was employed at the Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) in Seattle Washington for 33 years. During that time, he directed the Washington State Program for Students with Deaf-Blindness where he coordinated multi-agency services. He served as the Regional Special Education Director and hosted the King County Blended Funding Program to serve the most difficult families and youth in the community by combining funds from child welfare, mental health and education to create a single service delivery system.
For the past decade, he served as the Assistant to the Superintendent for Interagency Relations. In this position, he was involved in a variety of interagency, systems-integrated community initiatives associated with dropout prevention and retrieval, juvenile justice involvement, child welfare issues, and workforce development needs as they apply and interface with the public educational system. Dr. Moore has published over a dozen journal articles and chapters on difficult–to-assess populations, contributed to state and federal legislation, and been an invited speaker in the United States, Canada, and Europe. After 42 years in public education, Dr. Moore is working in the private sector as the Senior Education Consultant for Education and Workforce Solutions (EWS) based in Seattle, Washington.
President & CEO, Children’s Bureau of Southern California
Alex Morales is President and Chief Executive Officer of Children's Bureau of Southern California, a non-profit leader in the prevention and treatment of child abuse, mental health, family support, child development, and community building that has served Southern California since 1904. The agency’s research and expertise has impacted children and families nationwide. The agency directly serves more than 28,000 children and families each year.
Under Alex’s leadership, Children’s Bureau formed a visionary plan and raised $22+ million through 600 generous individuals and foundations to make it a reality. These resources have been used to build the Magnolia Place Family Center and be the “founding spark” of the Magnolia Community Initiative in Los Angeles pioneered by a large community network. This revolutionary initiative will become a national model/framework for building community wellness, resiliency, prevention and family support. Magnolia Community Initiative seeks to help ALL of the 35,000 children and youth within 500 blocks achieve success in education, health and receive nurturing care and economic stability form their families and community. Most recently, under Alex’s leadership, Children's Bureau has launched the Belong Institute to serve as a “national megaphone” for the learning from the Magnolia Community Initiative. Belong Institute will promote replication nationally of the community wellness framework through training and advocacy.
Alex has a Masters degree in social work and a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics. He has been recognized for his contributions: 2010 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award Finalist; 2008 Social Worker of the Year, Los Angeles Region of the National Association of Social Workers; 2004 Philanthropist in Civic Participation award for strengthening American Latino community participation, New America Alliance Institute; 2001 Lay Leader of the Year presented by the United Methodist Church California Pacific Annual Conference; 1998 Distinguished Alumnus Award, University of Southern California School of Social Work.
Director, Juvenile Justice Clinic
Lupo-Ricci Professor of Clinical Legal Studies, Georgetown Law
Professor of Pediatrics and Director, Prevention Research Center for Family and Child Health, University of Colorado at Denver
David Olds is currently a Professor of Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Public Health, and Nursing at the University of Colorado Denver, where he directs the Prevention Research Center for Family and Child Health. He has devoted his career to investigating methods of preventing health and developmental problems in children and parents from low-income families. The primary focus of his work has been on developing and testing in a series of randomized controlled trials a program of prenatal and infancy home visiting by nurses known as the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP), which serves socially disadvantaged mothers bearing first children. Today, the program is operating in over 380 counties, serving 23,000 families per year in the United States.
David Olds is also working with governments in other societies to adapt and test the NFP in international contexts. He is a member of the American Pediatrics Society, the Society for Prevention Research, the American Public Health Association, the Society for Research in Child Development and the Academy of Experimental Criminology, and has received numerous awards for his work, including the Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievements in Health, the Lela Rowland Prevention Award from the National Mental Health Association, the Presidential Award from the Society for Prevention Research, the Nurse 21 Community Award from UCLA School of Nursing, the Child Health and Welfare Award from the Colorado Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Brooke Visiting Professorship in Epidemiology from the Royal Society of Medicine, and the 2008 Stockholm Prize in Criminology. He has been honored to present keynote lectures at various conferences, including the CNO Nursing and Midwifery Conference in Belfast Northern Ireland, the 17th Annual JaSPCAN Conference in Tsukuba, Japan and the Healthy for Life and New Directions Mothers’ and Babies Conference in Brisbane, Australia. He obtained his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and his Ph.D. from Cornell University.
Vice President, American Institutes for Research
Dr. David Osher is Vice President in Education, Human Development and the Workforce at the American Institutes for Research as well as Co-Director of AIR’s Human and Social Development Program. Osher currently serves as Principal Investigator of four major research and technical assistance centers funded by the U. S. government: The National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Violence Prevention, The Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health; The National Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Children and Youth who are Neglected, Delinquent, or At Risk; and the National Center for Safe and Supportive Schools. Osher, who was Principal Investigator of the Global Evaluation of Child Friendly Schools, serves as Principal Investigator of a contract to help the Federal Agency Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs improve the coordination and efficiency of youth programs across 12 Federal Departments and Executive Agencies and to develop a National Plan for youth aged 10-24. Osher is also principal investigator of an evaluation of an initiative to implement social and emotion learning district wide in eight urban districts as well as an impact evaluation of PATHS program. Osher also leads research and R&D and consulting projects in six urban districts. Osher, who was Academic Dean of a Liberal Arts college and two professional schools of Human Services, received all of his degrees from Columbia University. Osher, who has consulted with ministries, NGOs, educators and human service professionals across the world serves on numerous expert panels and editorial boards and has authored or co-authored over 300 books, monographs, chapters, articles, and reports.
Executive Director, Forum for Youth Investment
Karen has made a career of starting organizations and initiatives that promote youth development – including the Forum for Youth Investment, which she co-founded with Merita Irby in 1998. A sociologist and recognized leader in youth development, Karen started her career at the Urban Institute, conducting numerous studies on social services for children and families. She later moved to the Children’s Defense Fund, launching its adolescent pregnancy prevention initiatives and helping to create its adolescent policy agenda. In 1990 she became a vice president at the Academy for Educational Development, where she founded and directed the Center for Youth Development and Policy Research and its spin-off, the National Training Institute for Community Youth Work.
In 1995 Karen joined the Clinton administration as director of the President's Crime Prevention Council, where she worked with 13 cabinet secretaries to create a coordinated prevention agenda. From there she moved to the executive team of the International Youth Foundation (IYF), charged with helping the organization strengthen its program content and develop an evaluation strategy. In 1998 she and Rick Little, head of the foundation, took a leave of absence to work with ret. Gen. Colin Powell to create America’s Promise. Upon her return, she and Irby launched the Forum, which later became an entity separate from IYF.
Karen has written three books and dozens of articles on youth issues. She has served on numerous boards and panels, including those of the Kauffman Foundation, the Educational Testing Service, the National Commission on the Senior Year of High School, and the National Center for Children in Poverty. Karen has been honored with the National Commission for African American Education Augustus F. Hawkins Service Award (2002), the American Youth Policy Forum Decade of Service Award for Sustained Visionary Leadership in Advancing Youth Policy (2003) and the Healthy Teen Network Sprit of Service Award (2007), and in 2009 was recognized in The NonProfit Times' Power & Influence Top 50.
Scientist, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
Elizabeth Pungello, Ph.D., is a Scientist at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, a Research Associate Professor in the Developmental Psychology Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Mentor Faculty member at the Center for Developmental Science, and President of the Brady Education Foundation.
Her current research focuses on early care, education environments, and school readiness skills of at-risk children. More specifically, her current work includes the investigation of the long-term outcomes of the Abecedarian Project (an early educational program in intervention for children at high risk for poor cognitive and academic outcomes); the exploration of the associations among race, income, parenting, childcare quality, language development, and school readiness; and the investigation of factors that influence why and how parents search for and select child care. In addition, she is helping to lead the Infant-Toddler Frank Porter Graham initiative to develop and evaluate a model of high-quality center care for infants and toddlers raised in poverty.
Also at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dr. Pungello currently serves as the Child Advocate member of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Non-biomedical Institutional Review Board. In addition, she serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Marriage and Family and reviews for numerous other journals in the field of developmental psychology. She also serves on a number of non-profit boards, including the Board of Trustees of the Carolina Friends School in Durham, NC.
Superintendent, Sacramento City Unified School District
Jonathan Raymond is Superintendent of the Sacramento City Unified School District, California’s 11th largest school district (47,000 students) located in the heart of the state capital. Since his appointment in July 2009, Raymond has accomplished several objectives of the district’s Strategic Plan 2010-14: Putting Children First, including: the creation of seven Superintendent’s Priority Schools to offer extra assistance to the district's most academically troubled campuses; the implementation of Early Kinder, a two-year transitional kindergarten program aimed at ending the cycle of “start behind, stay behind”; the development of Chinese and Hmong language immersion programs; the expansion of high school Linked Learning academies to provide college and career bound students with real-world experiences; a phased-in implementation of Common Core Standards to add rigor and relevance to curriculum; and the historic adoption of the “Sacramento High Performing Schools Compact,” a commitment to improving Sacramento’s educational climate signed by the district and charter school providers and supported by the Gates Foundation.
In addition, under Raymond’s leadership, the district became the first on the West Coast to be awarded a fully-funded Green Fellow from the US Green Building Council, a position critical to ensuring the environmental sustainability of SCUSD’s 81 campuses. Prior to his appointment, Raymond, a graduate of Tufts University, George Mason Law School and the Broad Superintendents Academy, served as Chief Accountability Officer for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Raymond’s extensive experience extends beyond education. He was president and CEO of the non-profit, Boston-based Commonwealth Corporation; a deputy director in the Massachusetts Department of Labor and Workforce Development; and a private practice attorney specializing in business and labor law.
Professor and Chair, Drexel University School of Public Health, Health Management & Policy; Co-Director, Center for Nonviolence & Social Justice
John A. Rich, MD, MPH, is Professor and Chair of Health Management and Policy at the Drexel University School of Public Health. He has been a leader in the field of public health, and his work has focused on serving one of the nation’s most ignored and underserved populations—African-American men in urban settings. In 2006, Dr. Rich was granted a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. In awarding this distinction, the Foundation cited his work to design “new models of health care that stretch across the boundaries of public health, education, social service, and justice systems to engage young men in caring for themselves and their peers.”
Prior to Drexel University, Rich served as the medical director of the Boston Public Health Commission. As a primary care doctor at Boston Medical Center, Rich created the Young Men’s Health Clinic and initiated the Boston HealthCREW, a program to train inner city young men to become peer health educators who focus on the health of men and boys in their communities.
He earned a Dartmouth A.B. degree in English, M.D. from Duke University Medical School, and Master’s from the Harvard School of Public Health. He completed his internship and residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital and was a fellow in general internal medicine at Harvard Medical School. He received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Dartmouth in 2007 and now serves on its Board of Trustees. In 2009, Dr. Rich was inducted into the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. His recently published book about urban violence Wrong Place, Wrong Time: Trauma and Violence in the Lives of Young Black Men has drawn critical acclaim.
County Supervisor of San Diego, 4th District
Supervisor Ron Roberts represents nearly 626,000 residents of San Diego County’s Fourth Supervisorial District. While Ron’s commitment to fiscal discipline helped him manage a highly successful architecture firm and then turn around a teetering government, his heart has always been with the less fortunate, especially at-risk youth. In 1997, he helped launch the groundbreaking Critical Hours after-school program to keep middle school students on track and off the streets. After school programs have since become a statewide priority with funding provided by the California Department of Education.
Recognizing the vulnerability of youth in certain working-class communities, Ron was key backer of STAR/PAL, a combination of two former nonprofits. STAR/PAL brings uniformed law enforcement officials together with community organizers to provide services to more than 10,000 youth services annually. The program focuses on children ages 6 to 17, in underserved and inner-city neighborhoods, and provides them with opportunities otherwise not afforded to them. Examples include a no-fee summer baseball/softball league for 600 boys and girls.
Perhaps Ron’s most nationally-noted effort was the 1993 creation of the Comprehensive Strategy for Juvenile Offenders. A federal pilot program, it was envisioned and continues today as a region-wide partnership to develop healthy, responsible youth through a continuum of services including juvenile prevention and intervention programs as well as appropriate sanctions.
Roberts and his wife live in San Diego’s Mission Hills in the home they built and where they raised their three daughters, all of whom are now successful professionals. The couple has three grandchildren.
President and CEO, Campaign for Youth Justice
Liz brings more than two decades of experience to the Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ), an organization she founded that is dedicated to ending the practice of trying, sentencing and incarcerating children in the adult criminal justice system. In her capacity at CFYJ, Liz is responsible for overall strategy, management and fundraising. Liz currently serves on the steering committee of the National Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Coalition. Prior to starting The Campaign for Youth Justice, Ms. Ryan served for five years as the Advocacy Director for the Youth Law Center’s Building Blocks for Youth Initiative, a project to reduce the over-incarceration and disparate treatment of children of color in the juvenile justice system. Ms. Ryan previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director to U.S. Senator Thomas R. Carper during his terms as Delaware’s Governor and member of the US House of Representatives. She also served as a lobbyist for the Children’s Defense Fund. Ms. Ryan is a former VISTA volunteer. Ms. Ryan holds a BA from Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA) and an MA from The George Washington University (Washington, DC).
Vice President, Casey Family Programs
David Sanders joined Casey Family Programs in July 2006. He oversees the foundation’s work with child welfare systems to improve practice, with an emphasis on ensuring safe and permanent families for children. He also oversees the foundation’s public policy work. Prior to joining Casey Family Programs, he directed all operations for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.
Professor of Applied Psychology, New York University; Waldemar A. Nielson Visiting Fellow in Philanthropy, Georgetown Public Policy Institute
Edward Seidman is Professor of Applied Psychology and a member of the Institute for Human Development and Social Change at New York University, Senior Program Associate at the William T. Grant Foundation (WTGF), and the Waldemar A. Nielsen Visiting Fellow in Philanthropy at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute. He is interested in higher quality theory, measurement, and preventive intervention research on youth-serving organizations that successfully impact practice and policy. While he was Senior Vice President at WTGF, he facilitated the work of many scholars on these issues. Before coming to WTGF, his research examined the nature and course of the positive developmental trajectories of economically at-risk urban adolescents, and how these trajectories are affected by the social contexts of family, peers, school, and neighborhood. The impact of school transitions on these developmental trajectories and its implications for primary prevention and the promotion of well being along with educational reform remain issues of particular interest to him. Earlier work focused on secondary prevention trials in education, juvenile justice, mental health, and gerontology. In previous positions, he served on the faculties at the universities of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and Manitoba, as well as Vice President and Dean, Research, Demonstration, and Policy at Bank Street College. He has served on many grant review panels and as Associate Editor for Methodology, American Journal of Community Psychology. He also served as President of the Society for Community Research and Action. He has edited (or co-edited) several volumes, including the Handbook of Social Intervention (1983), Handbook of Community Psychology (2000), and Redefining Social Problems (1986). He has been a Resident Scholar at Rockefeller’s Bellagio Center, a Senior Fulbright-Hays Scholar, and the recipient of several national awards for distinguished contributions to research and science, education, ethnic minority mentoring, and most recently the Seymour B. Sarason Award for Community Research & Action.
Health Policy Advisor, Senate Committee on Finance
Since 2003, Rebecca Dean Shipp has been a Health Policy Advisor, for the Senate Finance Committee. She currently serves under the current Ranking Member, Senator Orrin G. Hatch of the Senate Finance Committee. She had previously served under the former Chairman and Ranking Member Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) of the United States Senate Committee on Finance.
Ms. Shipp’s areas of responsibility have included: the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), disability policy, including nursing home standards and quality, and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and related programs. Current areas of responsibility also include: Title V, the Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant, mental health parity, child welfare, foster care, and adoption assistance programs.
Ms. Shipp is the principle staffer for the Senate Caucus on Foster Youth, founded by Senator Grassley and Co-chaired by Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) which focuses on older youth in and out of foster care.
Carol Wilson Spigner
Emerita Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice
Carol W. Spigner, D.S.W. retired from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice in June of 2010 after having served as associate professor/ clinician educator for a decade. At Penn, Spigner directed the social policy program and taught policy and macro practice. Prior to her arrival at Penn, Dr. Spigner had been the Associate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and was responsible for the administration of federal child welfare programs.
Most recently Dr. Spigner has served on the Pew Commission for Children in Foster Care, the Mayor’s Child Welfare Review Panel for the City of Philadelphia, and the Workgroup for the Michigan Racial Equity Task Force. She also chairs the Board of the Center for the Study of Social Policy and serves on the Board of Samara Center for Individual and Family Growth. Dr. Spigner has served as a senior associate at the Center for the Study of Social Policy, Washington, DC and as the director of the National Child Welfare Leadership Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Spigner has received numerous awards including the University of Pennsylvania’s 2008 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching; The Black Administrators in Child Welfare’s 2008 George Silcott Award for Lifetime Achievement; University of Southern California’s award for Lifetime Contributor to the Development of Policies and Programs for Underserved Populations; the National Association of Black Social Workers’ Outstanding Contributors Award; and the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators’ Award for Leadership in Public Child Welfare.
A native of Los Angeles, Dr. Spigner began her career working for the Los Angeles County Departments of Adoption and Probation and received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Riverside and her graduate degrees from the University of Southern California.
Director, Justice Center, The Council of State Governments
Michael Thompson has worked on criminal justice policy issues with the Council of State Governments since 1997, getting his start with CSG’s Eastern Regional Conference. During his tenure at CSG, Thompson has launched and overseen various national policy initiatives to improve outcomes for people with mental illnesses in the criminal justice system; enhance the ability of people released from prisons and jails to succeed in the community; and increase public safety, reduce spending on corrections, and improve conditions in the neighborhoods to which most people released from prison return. These efforts have prompted congressional hearings, federal legislation, national news coverage, and bipartisan legislative and programmatic initiatives in states across the country. Prior to joining CSG, he worked for the Office of the Court Monitor in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Senior Analyst, Lake Research Partners
Jonathan Voss joined Lake Research Partners in 2011 as a Senior Analyst and has a wide-range of experience conducting quantitative and qualitative research for a diverse portfolio of clients. A trained focus group moderator, he currently works on a variety of issues for LRP including Social Security, housing policy, the environment, education, and issues surrounding poverty. Prior to joining LRP, Jonathan worked at Benenson Strategy Group and The Feldman Group conducting research across the country for numerous local, congressional, and statewide campaigns and ballot initiatives. He has provided strategic guidance for international campaigns, issue coalitions, corporations and non-profit organizations.
Originally from Orange County New York, Jonathan started working on political campaigns after college in New York City and around the country. He has a master’s degree in public administration from NYU’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service, and also has a bachelor’s degree in politics from NYU.
State Representative, 93rd Assembly District – New Haven
Toni Edmonds Walker is a seasoned social activist and advocate for youth, education, and human rights. As a Connecticut State Representative, Rep. Walker serves as House Chair of the Appropriations Committee and participates on several other legislative bodies, including the Higher Education and Judiciary Committees. She is the former House Chair of the Human Services Committee. Rep. Walker also created and chaired both the Juvenile Jurisdiction Planning and Implementation Committee and the Juvenile Jurisdiction Policy and Operations Coordinating Council. She is also an active member of the Financial Advisory Council, serving as Speaker Donovan’s appointee. In addition, Rep. Walker has been appointed to serve on several policy committees by legislative forums, including the National Conference of State Legislatures as Vice-Chair of the Human Services Committee, and the Council of State Governments as Vice Chair of the ERC Criminal Justice Advisory Board and Chair of the ERC Budget & Tax Committee. The Council of State Governments also once recognized Rep. Walker as a Tolls Fellow.
For several years, Rep. Walker has committed herself to juvenile reform in Connecticut beginning with raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction. During the 2006 and 2007 legislative sessions, Representative Walker introduced and championed legislation that would allow for 16 and 17 year-olds to be considered juveniles in the eyes of Connecticut courts.
When she is not in Hartford, Toni is in district serving as Vice Principal and Coordinator of Special Services and Grants at New Haven Adult Education, where she plays an instrumental role in developing, designing and implementing community-based programs. In her downtime, Toni likes to reconnect with her most important commitment: her family. She is a devoted wife to Donald Walker and loving mother and step-mother to Talia Aikens-Nunez and Tiffany Beech. Most importantly though, Toni is a proud grandmother to Isabella and Niles!
Director, Department of Job and Family Services, Hamilton County, Ohio
Moira Weir, named director of Hamilton County’s Department of Job and Family Services in 2007, immediately embarked on a series of reforms to make the department more accessible and accountable, as well as responsive and open to the public. Her vision is for Hamilton County’s Department of Job and Family Services to be the center of a collaborative effort that draws together and leads social service agencies, businesses, governments, families and other community stakeholders to tackle the community’s toughest social problems, such as poverty and child abuse.
Weir has worked her way up from being a Children’s Services line worker, a position she accepted when she joined the Department in 1993. She’s since tackled a series of positions of increasing responsibility within Children’s Services, including leading the division from 2005 to 2007. Her passion to help children began early in her adult life, when she became a Big Sister to a foster child for more than 10 years.
Weir has received numerous awards and accolades as Agency Director. In 2012, Weir was named a finalist for the Athena Award for Women by Cincy Magazine. In 2010, she was a finalist for the Ohio Job and Family Services Director’s Association’s Director of the Year award. She’s also launched award-winning campaigns and partnerships such as Choose Your Partner Carefully; Do Ask, Do Tell; Everyday Heroes; Kids in School Rules; and the Higher Education Mentoring Initiative (HEMI). In addition, Weir led the most successful Children’s Services levy campaign in agency history - passing at a record 72% in 2012.
Weir leads a department with a $1.5 billion annual budget that is responsible for local child protection, elder protection, child care, child support enforcement, workforce development, cash assistance, food stamp disbursement and Medicaid disbursement. Her philosophy is to deliver cost-effective services in a compassionate, caring and non-judgmental manner.
Manager, Massachusetts Child and Youth Readiness Cabinet
Abby R. Weiss is currently serving as the Manager of the Massachusetts Child and Youth Readiness Cabinet. Established by Executive Order by Governor Deval Patrick in 2008, the Readiness Cabinet is co-chaired by the Secretaries of Education and Health and Human Services. The Cabinet’s purpose is to close achievement gaps by fostering collaboration across state departments and agencies that serve Massachusetts’ children, youth, and families. Weiss works directly with state agency and school district leadership across the Commonwealth to increase coordination and alignment.
Weiss served as the Executive Director of the Full-service Schools Roundtable from 2007 until October 2011. In that role, Weiss engaged partners from multiple sectors to advance the Roundtable’s mission of ensuring that every child in Boston – and Massachusetts – has access to integrated services through school-community partnerships. From 2005 to 2007, Weiss was a Project Manager at Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP). There Weiss was responsible for managing HFRP's family involvement research and activities, which focused on shaping a national dialogue about strategies for improving learning and development outcomes for all children. She was also the Co-Director of the National PIRC Coordination Center, providing technical assistance and training to Parent Information and Resource Centers across the country.
Prior to HFRP, Weiss worked at the Institute for Responsive Education (IRE) in Boston for eight years. At IRE, she served as Associate Director and led the organization's research efforts on charter schools. She also managed projects that promoted family-school-community partnerships and provided technical assistance and training to schools across the country as they engaged in this work. Weiss received her master's degree in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and her B.A. in Political Science from Brown University.
Vice President, The Education Trust
Amy Wilkins is the Vice President for Government Affairs and Communications at the Education Trust in Washington, DC. An experienced political and community organizer with a special skill in media communications, Amy’s sharp advocacy skills were honed over years of successful work for the Children’s Defense Fund, the Democratic National Committee, the Peace Corps, and the White House Office of Media Affairs.
The Education Trust promotes high academic achievement for all students at all levels—pre-kindergarten through college. Its goal is to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement that consign far too many young people—especially those from low-income families or who are black, Latino, or American Indian—to lives on the margins of the American mainstream.
Director, Division of Home Visiting and Early Childhood Services, Maternal and Child Health Bureau
Dr. David W. Willis, MD, FAAP joined HRSA’s Maternal Child Health Bureau in July 2012 as its Director of the Division of Home Visiting and Early Childhood Services.
He was a long standing early childhood leader in Oregon who first founded the Northwest Early Childhood Institute in response to the call-to-action of From Neurons to Neighborhood. He then moved to the Artz Center for Developmental Health and Audiology and served as its first Medical Director. There, as a clinician, he focused on providing state-of-the-art early childhood multidisciplinary clinical services, while leading some of Oregon’s early childhood transformational activities.
Dr. Willis is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Oregon Health Sciences University, a previous Harris Mid-Career Fellow with ZERO TO THREE, and a past President of the Oregon Pediatric Society. He has served Oregon’s last two governors’ early childhood agendas as member of Governor Kulongoski’s Early Childhood Matters Advisory Council and as advisor and member of Governor Kitzhaber’s Early Childhood Transition Team crafting Oregon’s revolutionary early childhood legislation enacted in 2012.
Dr. Willis has provided national leadership with the American Academy of Pediatrics on the Executive Committee of the AAP’s Section on Early Education and Child Care, and as the most recent Chair the AAP’s Board’s Early Brain & Child Development Strategic Initiative. Dr. Willis brings to MCHB a Vision of Building Health and Education readiness for the next generation of our nation’s children. He places a special emphasis on our most vulnerable families, the development of their relational health, and a targeted focus on the First 1000 Days.
Associate Professor of Psychology, Georgetown University
An associate professor of psychology at Georgetown University, Jennifer L. Woolard obtained her Ph.D. in developmental and community psychology from the University of Virginia. She has written on several aspects of adolescent development in the family and legal contexts, including juvenile delinquency, mental health, and intimate violence. Her current research with juvenile defendants addresses competence to stand trial, the attorney-client relationship, and the role of parents in adolescents’ legal decision making, among other topics. Dr. Woolard has also published on the prevention of child abuse and neglect, policy regarding female delinquency, mental health needs of juvenile delinquents, and the overlap between child maltreatment and spouse abuse. She has presented her research findings to a wide variety of academic, legal, and policy audiences and has won several awards for undergraduate teaching excellence. She is currently a member of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice.