Kenneth W. Kizer (chair) is a distinguished professor in the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, as well as director of the Institute for Population Health Improvement (IPHI) in the university’s health system. An internationally respected health care leader, his multiple roles at IPHI include serving as the chief medical officer for the California Department of Managed Health Care, director of the California Cancer Reporting and Epidemiologic Surveillance Program, and chief quality improvement consultant for the Medi-Cal Quality Improvement Program. His diverse professional experience includes senior positions in the public and private sectors, in academia, and in philanthropy, including these: founding president and CEO, National Quality Forum; chairman, CEO, and president, Medsphere Systems Corporation; Under Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the nation’s largest health care system, in which capacity he engineered the internationally acclaimed transformation of the Veterans Healthcare System in the late 1990s; director of the former California Department of Health Services; and chairman of the California Wellness Foundation. He is an honors graduate of Stanford University and the University of California–Los Angeles, the recipient of two honorary doctorates, and a fellow or distinguished fellow of 12 professional societies. He is board certified in six medical specialties and/or subspecialties, and has authored more than 500 original articles, book chapters, and other reports. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, a former Navy diving medical officer, and a recognized expert on medicine in wilderness and other austere environments.
David Albright currently holds the Hill Crest Foundation Endowed Chair in Mental Health at the University of Alabama, with a tenured appointment in the School of Social Work. He is a military veteran and former research fellow with both the Department of Veterans Affairs and the RAND Corporation’s Center for Military Health Policy Research. Dr. Albright works to produce research that is useful for communities, health care providers, and policy makers as they work to address and improve health-related determinants and outcomes among military personnel, veterans, and their families and communities.
Stephen J. Cozza is professor of psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University, where he serves as associate director, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress. He has served in a variety of positions of responsibility in the Department of Psychiatry at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, including chief, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Service; program director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program; and chief, Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Cozza retired from the U.S. Army in 2006 after 25 years of military service. His professional interests have been in the areas of clinical and community response to trauma and the impact of deployment and combat injury, illness, and death on military service members, their families, and their children. Under his leadership, the Walter Reed Department of Psychiatry spearheaded the initiative to provide mental health services, support, and follow-up to the many injured service members, their families, and their children who receive medical treatment. Dr. Cozza is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in the specialties of general psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry. He serves as a scientific advisor to several national organizations that focus on the needs of military children and families. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, received his medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and completed his residency in general psychiatry and a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Ellen DeVoe is professor and director of the doctorate program at the Boston University School of Social Work. Her early scholarship focused on sexual abuse, the impact of domestic and community violence on children and families, and intervention research. Her work has been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Department of Defense. Since the 9/11 attacks, Dr. De Voe has been immersed in intervention research concerning parents affected by traumatic stress, including military and veteran parents and families. For the last decade, she has directed a program of research funded by the Department of Defense focused on the development of
a parenting intervention program to support military parents throughout cycles of deployment and reintegration. She is currently the principal investigator of a randomized clinical trial study of deploying parents of young children at the Fort Hood Army installation, titled the Strong Families Strong Forces Prevention Project, which is evaluating the efficacy of an intervention to reduce military family distress across the military deployment cycle. She holds a B.A. from Princeton University, an M.S.W. from the University of Denver, and a Ph.D. in social work and social science from the University of Michigan and completed an NIMH postdoctoral fellowship in family-violence research training at the University of New Hampshire.
Abigail Gewirtz is the John and Nancy Lindahl Leadership professor in the Department of Family Social Science and the Institute of Child Development and director of the Institute for Translational Research in Children’s Mental Health at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on the development, effectiveness testing, and implementation of targeted prevention programs that promote child resilience among highly stressed families, including those affected by military deployment and war. For more than a decade, her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Department of Defense. Dr. Gewirtz is principal investigator on two current randomized controlled trials to develop and test a web-enhanced parenting program for military families with parents returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. She has published and presented widely on parenting, trauma, and child adjustment, extending parent training models for populations affected by traumatic stress, and the role of community sectors of care as portals for family-based prevention. She holds a BSc. from University College London, an M.A. in psychology from Tel Aviv University, and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a licensed psychologist in Minnesota and was previously licensed in Connecticut.
Mary M. Keller serves as the president and CEO of the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC), for which she has been the executive leader since 1998. She is one of the founders of the MCEC, the nation’s only nonprofit organization that serves military children around the world as they strive to meet the challenges of frequent transitions, parental deployments, loss, and trauma. The MCEC was recognized by First Lady Laura Bush in 2004 as the Congressional Club Charity of the Year and, in 2008, was certified America’s Best Charity by Independent Charities of America. Dr. Keller has also served as a teacher and school administrator in several Texas school districts for more than 21 years. She served for 8 years as assistant superintendent and area superintendent for education services for the Killeen
Independent School District, which today serves more than 20,000 military-connected children and the nation’s largest military installation, Fort Hood. She holds a master’s degree in education with a specialization in curriculum and instruction from Wayland Baptist University and a doctorate in educational administration from Texas Tech University. She holds professional teaching certifications in elementary as well as history, supervision, midmanagement, and superintendency. She is also trained in formal mediation and has held a certification from the Texas Bar Association.
Patricia Lester is the Nathanson Family professor of psychiatry, director of the Division of Population Behavioral Health, director of the Nathanson Family Resilience Center, and the medical director of the Family STAR (Stress, Trauma and Resilience) service, all at the University of California–Los Angeles Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. A board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist, Dr. Lester’s research and clinical work have been dedicated to the development, evaluation, and implementation of family-centered prevention and treatment for children and families facing adversity and trauma. She codeveloped the trauma-informed, family-centered preventive intervention FOCUS, which was designed to enhance resilience and mitigate stress in families facing adversities such as medical illness and military wartime deployment, injury, and loss. She oversees an online learning center and evaluation data management system, which utilizes web-based technologies to scale program implementation with fidelity within community, school, and health care settings. Over the past decade, she has conducted a number of research studies on the impact of parental deployment on military-connected children and families, and she is currently the principal investigator of a randomized trial of a virtually delivered family prevention intervention for military and veteran families with young children, funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Development. She is well-versed in the scientific and programmatic issues facing military-connected families and serves as an advisor on the needs of military children and families across military, university, and nonprofit agencies, including as an advisor to the Millennium Family Cohort Study. She holds an M.D. from the University of California–San Francisco School of Medicine.
Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth is professor of human development and family studies at Purdue University, where she is also director of both the Center for Families and the Military Family Research Institute and executive director of the Family Impact Institute. Her primary research interest is in the relationships between work conditions and family life. Over the past 20 years, she has studied differences between small and large workplaces, how adults grow and develop as a result of their work experiences, and how
different kinds of organizational policies make it easier or more difficult for workers to be successful at work and at home. As the director of the Center for Families she conducts research and engagement activities focused on helping individuals and organizations who serve families do their work more effectively. In 2000, she began to conduct research about and for military families through the Military Family Research Institute. She has served on the Department of Defense Task Force on Mental Health, is a recipient of the Work Life Legacy Award from the Families and Work Institute, and was named a fellow of the National Council on Family Relations. She holds an M.S. and a Ph.D. in human development and family studies, as well as an M.B.A. in management, all from the Pennsylvania State University.
Laura L. Miller is a senior military sociologist at the RAND Corporation. For more than 25 years she has studied the lives of military personnel and their families through surveys, observations, discussion groups, one-on-one interviews, and analyses of military policy and personnel data. Her research topics include military culture and organization; deployment experiences; gender integration; sexual harassment and sexual assault; social problems; health and well-being; military families; military spouse education and employment; attitudes toward gays and lesbians in the military; unit cohesion and morale; and civil-military relations. To collect primary data, Dr. Miller has traveled to more than 40 stateside installations and to overseas bases and operations in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Germany, Haiti, Hungary, Korea, Kuwait, Macedonia, Qatar, the Serb Republic, and Somalia. She has served on numerous advisory boards and task forces, including as a part of the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Self-governing Review Related to Fort Hood (2009) and the Air Force Follow-On Review Related to Fort Hood (2010); as an advisor on military and sociological aspects of suicide research for the Army Science Board and the Department of the Army (2008–2009); and as a member of two commissions investigating sexual misconduct, harassment, and violence at the military service academies (2003–2005). Dr. Miller was previously an assistant professor of sociology at the University of California–Los Angeles (1997–2002) and a postdoctoral fellow at the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University (1995–1997). She holds both an M.A. and a Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University and a B.A. from the University of Redlands.
Tracy Neal-Walden is senior vice president and director of the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Easterseals, a licensed clinical psychologist, and a retired Air Force colonel with more than 25 years of experience in mental health treatment, leadership, outreach, and policy. She directs clinical, administrative, financial, and outreach operations for the clinic, which is part of the Cohen Veterans Network, providing high-quality, accessible,
integrated and no-cost/low-cost mental health care to veterans, their families, and caretakers. She specializes in the cognitive-behavioral treatment of insomnia, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and other health-related conditions in military and veteran populations. In addition, she is a clinical trainer in integrated behavioral health in primary care, and has trained, supervised, and mentored clinicians across the Air Force and Department of Defense in evidence-based treatment at both the pre- and post-doctoral levels. She serves on the American Psychological Association’s Continuing Education Committee and has conducted and published research in the area of suicide prevention. She holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Drexel University–Hahnemann Medical Campus and completed a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship in clinical health psychology at the Wilford Hall Medical and Surgical Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Daniel F. Perkins is a professor of family and youth resiliency and policy at the Pennsylvania State University. He is principal scientist and founder of an applied research center, the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State. Dr. Perkins leads applied research projects to inform professionals who are supporting military families through high-quality program implementation and assessment activities. Dr. Perkins is also interested in hybrid evaluations of preventions and interventions, implementation science, and community-based delivery models. He has been designing and evaluating strengths-based family and youth development programs in 4-H and Cooperative Extension for more than 20 years. In addition, he is also an affiliate faculty member of the Penn State Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development. Within the field of prevention science, Dr. Perkins examines type II translational research, that is, research on transitioning evidence-based programs tested in tightly controlled environments to large-scale expansions into real-world settings. He is currently investigating the utilization of proactive technical assistance (e.g., coaching) and the role of other contextual factors (e.g., setting of the program) in contributing to the long-term implementation quality and sustainability of evidence-based programs. Dr. Perkins is also a co-principal investigator on The Veteran Metrics Initiative, leading efforts to characterize the programs veterans use as they reintegrate into civilian life and distilling the programs into their common components so that links between those components and veteran well-being can be identified. He holds a Ph.D. in family and child ecology from Michigan State University, and an M.S. in human development and family studies and a B.S. in psychology from the Pennsylvania State University.
Ashish S. Vazirani is the executive director and the chief executive officer of the National Military Family Association. He provides strategic
and operational oversight of the leading nonprofit dedicated to serving the families who stand behind the uniform. Before joining NMFA, Mr. Varizani led development and programming at Armed Services YMCA. He was responsible for developing deep and lasting engagement with the donors and ensuring implementation and measurement of standardized programs serving military families. Prior to his work with the ASYMCA, Mr. Varizani spent more than 22 years as a management consultant working with leading high tech and pharmaceutical companies to improve their marketing and sales functions to deliver profitable growth. He also served as a marketing and development advisor to military services organizations such as the USO (2011–2014) and Operation Homefront (2014–2017). Before his career in consulting, and sales and marketing management, Mr. Varizani served in the U.S. Navy as a Submarine Officer from 1986 to 1993. Mr. Varizani holds a B.E. in mechanical engineering from Vanderbilt University, an M.E. from the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University, and a M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Mr. Varizani’s family immigrated to the United States when he was 3 years old. He is the son of a combat wounded, Vietnam-era Marine and the father of a currently serving Marine; service is the family business. His priorities are faith, family and country.
Ivan C. A. Walks is the CEO of Ivan Walks & Associates, a health and human services consulting firm. He is a former chief health officer of the District of Columbia and director of the D.C. Department of Health and has served on the adjunct medical faculty at both George Washington University and Howard University. He was appointed by the governor to the State of Maryland Board of Education, which he served for 4 years. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Dr. Walks served on a board for the American Red Cross to oversee health recovery efforts for those impacted by the events at the Pentagon and the Twin Towers in New York. He has been honored by the American Public Health Association as a “Public Health Hero,” by Mayor Anthony Williams with The Government of the District of Columbia Distinguished Public Service Award, by Leadership Greater Washington with its Founder’s Award for Leadership and Community Service, and by the American Federation of Government Employees with its President’s Award. He has offered testimony before both houses of Congress and was a featured presenter at the 1999 White House Conference on Mental Health. Dr. Walks has served on the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Board of Trustees; chaired the APA Committee of Residents and Fellows; and was a member of the Inaugural APA/AMA Joint Board of Trustees Meeting. He holds an M.D. from the University of California at Davis, and completed additional training at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric
Institute, the West LA Veterans Administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Suzanne Le Menestrel (study director) is a senior program officer with the Board on Children, Youth, and Families at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, where her responsibilities have included directing four consensus studies focused on children and adolescents, from birth to age 21, as well as directing the Forum for Children’s Well-Being. Prior to her tenure with the National Academies, Dr. Menestrel was the founding national program leader for youth development research at 4-H National Headquarters, served as research director at the Academy for Educational Development’s Center for Youth Development and Policy Research, and was a research associate at Child Trends. She was a founder of the Journal of Youth Development: Bridging Research and Practice and chaired its Publications Committee. Dr. Le Menestrel has published in numerous refereed journals and is an invited member of several advisory groups, including a research advisory group for the American Camp Association, a Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital STEM Strategy advisory group, and the National Leadership Steering Committee for the Cooperative Extension System–Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Initiative. She holds an M.S. and a Ph.D. in human development and family studies from the Pennsylvania State University, a B.S. in psychology from St. Lawrence University, and a nonprofit management executive certificate from Georgetown University.
David Butler is a scholar in the Health and Medicine Division and the director of the Office of Military and Veterans Health. Before joining the National Academies, Dr. Butler served as an analyst for the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment, was a research associate in the Department of Environmental Health of the Harvard School of Public Health, and performed research at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He has directed several National Academies studies on environmental health and risk assessment topics, including studies examining climate change, the indoor environment, and asthma. Dr. Butler has also been lead staff officer for a number of reports on the effects of environmental exposures on the health of active-duty military personnel and veterans, including volumes of the Veterans and Agent Orange report series. He is a recipient of the Cecil Award, the highest distinction for a staff member of the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine). Dr. Butler holds a B.S. and an M.S. in
engineering from the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. in public policy analysis from Carnegie Mellon University.
Priyanka Nalamada is an associate program officer with the Board on Children, Youth, and Families at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Upon completing a congressional internship she joined the National Academies and worked for a number of years within the Health and Medicine Division. Her work involves research and project management in the areas of public health and education. Her past work focused on a range of global health issues including public-private partnerships in low- and middle-income countries, medical device donations in low-resource settings, and the role of multinational companies in health literacy. She holds a degree in political science from Bryn Mawr College.
Stacey Smit serves as a senior program assistant with the Board on Children, Youth, and Families at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, supporting consensus studies overseen by the board. She has more than 10 years’ experience in event planning and providing administrative support and has worked at various organizations in the Washington, D.C., area. In the past, she has supported the Executive Office of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; the Decadal Survey of Social and Behavioral Sciences for Applications to National Security; the Committee on the Use of Economic Evidence to Inform Investments in Children, Youth, and Families; the Committee on Supporting the Parents of Young Children; the Forum on Children’s Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Health; and the Committee on Increasing Capacity for Reducing Bullying and Its Impact on the Lifecourse of Youth Involved. She holds a B.A. in sociology from the University of Maryland, College Park.
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