Harolyn M. E. Belcher (Planning Committee) is the director of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Center for Diversity in Public Health Leadership Training, Kennedy Krieger Institute. She is principal investigator (PI) of three Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public health leadership training programs to promote diversity in public health research, training, and leadership experiences for undergraduate, public health graduate, medical, dental, pharmacy, and veterinary students. She is co-PI on a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to conduct a cost comparison of two evidence-based parent interventions for young children with emotional and behavioral problems. Belcher received her B.S. in zoology from Howard University, medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine in 1982, and master’s in health science focusing on mental health in 2002 from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Thomas F. Boat (Workshop Presenter) is the dean emeritus of the College of Medicine at the University of Cincinnati and a professor of pediatrics in the Division of Pulmonary Medicine at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Earlier, he was the director of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Research Foundation and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. More recently, he has worked at local and national levels to improve child health research efforts, subspecialty training, and clinical care. He has a special interest in issues posed by children’s mental health for pediatric care, research, and training, and he is working in Cincinnati and nationally to promote children’s behavioral health. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. He is a
member of the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs and served as president of its board of directors. He has also served as chair of the American Board of Pediatrics and as president of both the Society for Pediatric Research and the American Pediatric Society. He has an M.D. in pediatric pulmonology from the University of Iowa.
Angelica Cardenas-Chaisson (Workshop Presenter) works as a policy associate with a focus on health equity and young children at the Child and Family Policy Center. In her role, Cardenas-Chaisson performs research on various policy issues that affect young children and their families. She has dedicated her career to working with families and communities, specifically families of color. Cardenas-Chaisson co-led the Health Equity and Young Children Initiative, a project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which worked with exemplary programs and practices throughout the country that work to support families and their children. She received her M.S.W. from the University of California, Berkeley.
Lynda Gargan (Workshop Presenter) is executive director for the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health. Throughout her career, she has worked across the nation providing technical assistance and training to ensure that all individuals are afforded the opportunity to live in the community of their choice. Gargan served as the project manager and project director, respectively, for two Federal Supported Employment Technical Assistance Centers. She more recently served as CEO for an agency specializing in intensive in-home family therapy services. Gargan currently serves as a partner in the national evaluation of System of Care grantees. She also serves as principal collaborator with the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors’ Technical Assistance Coalition.
Stephanie Jones (Workshop Presenter) is the Gerald S. Lesser professor in early childhood development at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Jones is a recipient of the Grawemeyer Award in Education and of the Joseph E. Zins Early-Career Distinguished Contribution Award for Action Research in Social and Emotional Learning. Jones’s research portfolio emphasizes the importance of conducting rigorous scientific research, including program evaluation that also results in accessible content for early and middle childhood practitioners and policy makers. She serves on numerous national advisory boards and expert consultant groups related to social-emotional development and child and family antipoverty policies, including Engaging Schools and the national boards of Parents as Teachers. She consults to program developers, including Sesame Street, and has conducted numerous evaluations of programs and early education efforts, including Reading, Writing, Respect and Resolution; Resolving Conflict Creatively;
SECURe; and the Head Start CARES initiative. She received her Ph.D. from Yale University.
Arun Karpur (Workshop Presenter) is the director for data science and evaluation research at Autism Speaks. Karpur is leading efforts on utilizing existing datasets, electronic health data, and insurance claims data to advocate for health equity and improved quality of care for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. He established the Autism Data Science Advisory Network for leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence in autism research. He is also directing research and evaluation efforts in the area of transition to adulthood as well as quality service provider training. Prior to joining Autism Speaks, Karpur served as a research faculty member at Cornell University, where he was a co-investigator for a federally funded study to improve employment, education, and economic outcomes for low-income youth with disabilities. Karpur has received funding support for his research from the Rehabilitation Services Administration, Administration for Community Living, National Institutes of Health, and The World Bank. He has an M.P.H. from the University of South Florida and a Ph.D. in organizational behavior from the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
Kelly J. Kelleher (Workshop Presenter) is the ADS Professor of Innovation at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Kelleher is also distinguished professor of pediatrics and public health at The Ohio State University’s Colleges of Medicine and Public Health. As a pediatrician, his research interests focus on accessibility, effectiveness, and quality of health care services for children and their families, especially those affected by mental disorders, substance abuse, or violence. He has a long-standing interest in formal outcomes research for mental health and substance abuse services. He has an M.P.H. from The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health and an M.D. from The Ohio State University College of Medicine.
Cheryl Polk (Planning Committee) is a psychologist and Safe & Sound’s first chief program officer. In this position, Polk supervises the agency’s clinical and family teams: Integrated Children and Family Services that bolster mental health, and Community Education and Strategic Partnerships. Prior to starting this position, Polk was the president at HighScope, where she translated research knowledge about the first 5 years of life into programs, and was executive director of the Lisa and John Pritzker Family Fund. She was president of the board of directors of ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families, as well as a board member for more than 15 years. She is one of the founding members of the California
First 5 Children and Family Commission and served as commissioner, chair of the budget committee, and chair of the San Francisco Commission. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, Berkeley.
Carlos Santos (Planning Committee) is an assistant professor in the Luskin School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research draws on diverse disciplines, theories, and methods to better understand how oppressions (e.g., racism, heterosexism, etc.) overlap to create unique conditions for individuals that have implications for development and well-being. He studies how individuals cope with overlapping stressors and whether such coping attenuates or amplifies the negative consequences of overlapping oppressions on mental health, educational outcomes, and civic engagement. Santos has authored nearly 30 peer-reviewed publications. In 2017 he was awarded the Emerging Professional Contributions to Research Award by the Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race of the American Psychological Association. Santos received his Ph.D. in developmental psychology from New York University, master’s degree in education from Harvard University, and bachelor’s degree from New York University.
Vera Frances “Fan” Tait (Workshop Presenter) is a pediatric neurologist and brings years of experience in child health and wellness, family-centered care in medical homes, children with special needs, and health care delivery systems. She is currently the chief medical officer of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), where examples of her leadership and oversight include Global Child Health; Healthy Resilient Children, Youth and Families; health equity, the development of AAP policy; the AAP Pediatric Leadership Initiative; and Physician Wellness and Resilience. For more than 10 years, she directed the Department of Child Health and Wellness which included many of the strategic priorities of the academy, such as early brain and child development; the Institute of Healthy Childhood Weight; Bright Futures (which is the anticipatory, preventive guidance for children, adolescents and young adults from birth to age 21); and the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness, which addresses health in Head Start and Child Care. In addition, she led the Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council from its inception as well as AAP climate change initiatives such as the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit grant. She earned a B.S. from the University of Alabama, her M.D. from the University of Kentucky Medical Center, and her pediatric residency and pediatric neurology fellowship at the University of Utah Medical Center.
Deborah Klein Walker (Planning Committee) is the immediate past president of the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice (formerly the American Orthopsychiatric Association) and a former president of the American Public Health Association and the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs. She is currently the president of the board of Family Voices, a board member of the Institute for Community Health and the Cambridge Health Alliance Foundation, and an adjunct professor at the Boston University School of Public Health and Tufts University School of Medicine. She formerly served as vice president and senior fellow at Abt Associates, Inc. and as associate commissioner for programs and prevention at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Prior to state service, Walker was an associate professor of human development at the Harvard School of Public Health and a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has authored three books and more than 100 articles and book chapters. Her research and policy interests include child and family policy, program implementation and evaluation, public health practice, disability policy, community health systems, health outcomes, and data systems. Walker has been honored by organizations representing maternal and child health services, disabilities, and at-risk populations. She received her Ed.D. in human development from Harvard University.
Bonita Williams (Workshop Presenter) provides national leadership for the Vulnerable Populations Program at the 4-H National Headquarters, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), U.S. Department of Agriculture. In this role, Williams emphasizes the coordination and integration of programs that address the needs of youth living with social, emotional, physical, developmental, and mental vulnerabilities in relation to context, residence, and demographics. She serves as liaison to the 4-H Program Leader Working Group Committee on Access, Equity and Belonging. Prior to NIFA, Williams served as assistant professor and extension specialist with Virginia Tech University; Youth at Risk Specialist with Lincoln University; and as family and consumer science and 4-H agent with the North Carolina Extension Program. She received her Ph.D. in career and technical education from the University of Missouri–Columbia, an M.S. in adult and community college education from North Carolina State University, and a B.S. in family and consumer science from East Carolina University.
David Willis (Workshop Presenter) is a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Social Policy, where he leads a national initiative to advance early relational health for child health and communities. A board-certified, developmental-behavioral pediatrician, Willis was a clinician in Oregon for more than 30 years with a practice focused on early childhood development
and family therapy. Most recently, he was the first executive director of the Perigee Fund and also served as director of the Division of Home Visiting and Early Childhood Services at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Maternal Child Health Bureau, in Washington, DC. During his career, Willis has been a Harris Mid-Career Fellow with ZERO TO THREE, past president of the Oregon Pediatric Society, executive member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) Section on Early Education and Child Care, and chair of the AAP Board’s Early Brain & Child Development Strategic Initiative. He received his M.D. from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University.