Staff & Organization

OPRE Staff, Contractors, and Fellows
 

Bios
 

OPRE Staff |  DCFD  |  DEI  |  DFS

SCRD FellowsNational Poverty Fellows | Truman Fellows | BSC

OPRE Staff

Naomi Goldstein
Director

Sheila Abbott
Program and Budget Analyst

Melissa Barry
Staff Assistant

Maria Clifford
Administrative Officer

Emily Ball Jabbour
Performance Management

Karl Koerper
Executive Officer

Robert Sargis
Program Analyst
Paperwork Reduction Act

 

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Division of Child and Family Development (DCFD)

Mary Bruce Webb
Division Director

Wendy DeCourcey
Social Science Research Analyst
Head Start, Migrant and Seasonal Head Start

Kathleen Dwyer
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Child Care, Early Childhood Research

Laura Hoard
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Head Start, Child and Family Well-Being, Health

Amy Madigan
Team Leader for Infant/Toddler Research/Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Early Head Start, Head Start

Ivelisse Martinez-Beck
Team Leader for Child Care Research/Senior Social Science Research Analyst

Mary Mueggenborg
Social Science Research Analyst
Head Start, Health

Ann Rivera
Social Science Research Analyst
Dual Language Learners, Head Start, Child Care

Maria Woolverton
Child Welfare Research Team Leader/Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Child Welfare, Foster Care, and Head Start

 

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Division of Economic Independence (DEI)

Mark Fucello
Division Director

Kimberly Clum
Social Science Analyst

Hilary Forster
Social Science Research Analyst
Health Profession Opportunity Evaluations, Employment and Training, WREC Conference

Brendan Kelly
Dissemination Team Leader/Senior Social Science Research Analyst
TANF program and policy Research, Employment and Training, Family Self-Sufficiency

Tiffany McCormack
Social Science Research Analyst

Amelia Popham
Social Science Research Analyst

Emily Schmitt
Senior Social Scientist Research Analyst
TANF program and policy Research, Child and Family Well-Being, Homelessness Issues, Work and Family Issues

Girley Wright
Senior Program Analyst
TANF program and policy Research, Special Populations, Incarcerated Parents, Transitional Jobs Studies

Carli Wulff
Social Science Research Analyst

Erica Hecht Zielewski
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Family Self-Sufficiency, Youth Development Research, Assets building Research, WREC Conference

 

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Division of Family Strengthening (DFS)

Lauren Supplee
Division Director

Seth Chamberlain
Adolescent Development Research Team Leader/Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Strengthening Families, Responsible Fatherhood, Family Support, Youth Development, and Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention

Clare DiSalvo
Social Science Research Analyst
Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention and Home Visiting

Nancy Geyelin Margie
Social Science Research Analyst
Home Visiting, Head Start, Child Care, Child Welfare, and Parental Involvement/Family Engagement

Aleta Meyer
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Home Visiting, Foster Care, Tribal Home Visiting, Youth Development, and Prevention

Anna Solmeyer
Social Science Research Analyst
Strengthening Families, Responsible Fatherhood

T'Pring Westbrook
Social Science Research Analyst
Home Visiting, Early Childhood, and Military Families

 

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In addition to the permanent staff, OPRE is supported by the work of a number of Fellows and consultants including:

The Society for Research in Child Development Fellows (SRCD Fellows)

Nina Hetzner
Division of Child and Family Development

Julie Leis
Division of Child and Family Development

 

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Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison National Poverty Fellows

Melinda Petre
Division of Economic Independence

Shoman Shamsuddin
Division of Economic Independence

 

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The Harry S Truman Scholarship Foundation Fellows (Truman Fellows)

Tyler Hatch
Division of Family Strengthening

Brandon Hersey
Division of Economic Independence

Andrew Keefe
Division of Child and Family Development

Narintohn Luangrath
Division of Economic Independence

 

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Business Strategies Consultants Staff (BSC)

Meryl Barofsky
OPRE Research Fellow
Early Childhood Research
Division of Child and Family Development

Amanda Clincy
Social Science Research Analyst
Division of Child and Family Development & Division of Family Strengthening

Nicole Constance
OPRE Research Fellow

Nicole Denmark
OPRE Research Fellow
Division of Family Strengthening

Christine Fortunato
Social Science Research Analyst
Division of Child and Family Development

Samantha Illangasekare
Health Marriage Researcher
Division of Family Strengthening

Molly Jones
Research Analyst

Deric Joyner
Dissemination Specialist

Kathleen McCoy
Social Science Research Analyst
Division of Child and Family Development & Division of Family Strengthening

Cameron Sarik
Budget Analyst

 

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Bios

OPRE StaffDCFD  |  DEI  |  DFS 
SRCD Fellows  |  National Poverty Fellows |  Truman Fellows  |  BSC

OPRE Staff

Naomi Goldstein
Director

Naomi Goldstein is Director of the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation. Prior to her appointment as Director of OPRE in November, 2004, Ms. Goldstein served as Director of the Division of Child and Family Development in OPRE. Previously she directed the United States Postal Service Commission on A Safe and Secure Workplace, an independent commission that examined workplace violence affecting the Postal Service and the nation. She served as Project Manager for the Urban Institute’s Assessing the New Federalism project, and as Executive Officer in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at HHS. Earlier in her career, she served in the Massachusetts state government and developed infant mortality prevention programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Ms. Goldstein received a B.A. in Philosophy from Yale University, a Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard University. She was awarded the Presidential Rank of Distinguished Executive in 2012.

Sheila Abbott
Program and Budget Analyst

Melissa Barry
Staff Assistant

Maria Clifford
Administrative Officer

Maria Clifford is the Administrative Officer for OPRE responsible for planning, coordinating and directing all administrative activities for OPRE. This includes personnel management, administration, budgeting and financial management, procurement, property management and supplies.
Prior to coming to OPRE Ms. Clifford worked in the Office of Administration, Office of Grants Management and in the Event Management and Telecommunications field prior to returning to federal service. Ms. Clifford will complete her Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management from the University of Maryland in May of 2015 and continue to pursue a Master of Science in Management.

 

Emily Ball Jabbour
Performance Management

Emily (Ball) Jabbour is the Performance Coordinator for ACF, ensuring agency compliance with all performance measurement requirements related to the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) and the GPRA Modernization Act, including performance metrics, the HHS Strategic Plan, and Priority Performance Goals. Ms. Ball is also project officer for the OPRE web contract and the acquisition services support contract. She holds a BA from Boston College and a Master’s of Science in Social Work (MSSW) from Columbia University.

 

Karl Koerper
Executive Officer

Karl Koerper is the Executive Officer of OPRE and previous director of OPRE’s Division of Economic Independence. He has a B.S. in Political of Science from the University of Oregon, an MPA from Syracuse University, and is a former Presidential Management Fellow.

Robert Sargis
Program Analyst
Paperwork Reduction Act

Robert Sargis is Reports Clearance Officer under the Paperwork Reduction Act. Prior to joining OPRE he held other positions within ACF including Enterprise Architect, Lead for Capital Planning Investment Control, and Lead for Computer Security. He also held sales and sales management positions with The General Electric Company, Harris Corporation and Tymshare in the private sector computer industry. Mr. Sargis holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland in microbiology, MBA in Finance from the American University, and Masters in Information Systems from George Mason University.

 

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Division of Child and Family Development (DCFD)

Mary Bruce Webb
Division Director

Mary Bruce Webb has been the Director of the Division of Child and Family Development since 2005. Prior to joining ACF, she was a school psychologist for public schools in Connecticut, and then held research positions at Yale University and at Johns Hopkins University. At ACF, she has overseen a diverse array of studies, including the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being, a longitudinal, nationally representative survey of children and families who come into contact with child welfare system. She is co-editor for two books that are based on that study: Child Protection: Using Research to Improve Policy and Practice (Brookings Press, 2006) and Child Welfare and Child Well-Being (Oxford Press, 2009). She received a Ph.D. in School Psychology from Fordham University and did her post-doctoral training in children’s mental health services research at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

 

Wendy DeCourcey
Social Science Research Analyst
Head Start, Migrant and Seasonal Head Start

Wendy DeCourcey works primarily on research involving early childhood care and education programs. Her recent projects focus on professional development, coaching, and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start. In addition to research projects, Wendy also leads the development of Head Start’s National Research Conference on Early Childhood. Prior to joining OPRE, Dr. DeCourcey worked as an early intervention teacher in Portland, Oregon. Her degree is a Ph.D. from Clark University.

 

Kathleen Dwyer
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Child Care, Early Childhood Research

Kathleen Dwyer’s work focuses primarily on early care and education, specifically the child care and Head Start programs, although her current portfolio also includes projects related to services for victims of human trafficking. Prior to her appointment as a Social Science Research Analyst, she was a Society for Research in Child Development Executive Branch Policy Fellow at OPRE. She previously held a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Maryland, where she led studies on attachment, parenting, social information processing, and children’s friendships. She has worked on multiple large, longitudinal, observational studies of children, families, and friends while holding positions at the University of Maryland, Penn State University, the University of Georgia, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Development with a specialization in Developmental Sciences from the University of Maryland. Her research interests include children’s social-emotional development, parenting, and parent-child relationships.

 

Laura Hoard
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Head Start, Child and Family Well-Being, Health

Laura Hoard is a Social Science Research Analyst whose work mainly focuses on the mental and physical health of children, families, and how programs and systems can support health. Currently she leads the multisite evaluation of SAMHSA’s Project LAUNCH (Linking Action for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health) grant program, the creation of the Family-Provider Relationship Quality measures, and the survey of Head Start Health Managers. She was a Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Executive Branch Fellow in OPRE. Previously she worked at REDA International conducting research on the state implementation of No Child Left Behind teacher qualification standards. Dr. Hoard holds a M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Ph.D. in Family Studies, both from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her interests include mental and physical health of children, families, and communities; parenting; supports for and improvement of early childhood teachers; program design, implementation, evaluation, and the use of data for quality improvements; resilience; and population level evaluation.

 

Amy Madigan
Team Leader for Infant/Toddler Research/Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Early Head Start, Head Start

Amy Madigan is the team lead for infant/toddler research in OPRE where she provides leadership for research and policy activities related to Early Head Start and other programs serving low income infants, toddlers and their families. Her research interests focus on quality improvement of early childhood programs, particularly as it relates to curriculum, assessment and professional development and data driven decision making. Before joining OPRE, Dr. Madigan was a policy and research analyst with HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) and a Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Policy Fellow in ACF’s Office of Head Start. She holds a doctorate in Applied Developmental Psychology from George Mason University.

 

Ivelisse Martinez-Beck
Team Leader for Child Care Research/Senior Social Science Research Analyst

Ivelisse Martinez-Beck is the Child Care Research Team Leader at OPRE. Ms. Martinez-Beck held a Society for Research in Child Development Executive Branch Policy Fellowship with the Child Care Bureau, (currently Office of Child Care) in ACF. Previously she was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology, Albion College, MI, where she focused her teaching and research on language and cognitive development of young children from birth through 5-years. At OPRE, she focuses on early care and education (ECE), particularly on the quality of child care and early education programs, research on Quality Ratings and Improvement Systems (QRIS), professional development of the early childhood workforce, and access to high quality ECE by low-income families and children.

Ms. Martinez-Beck received a B.A. in Liberal Arts from the University of Puerto Rico and a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology and Linguistics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.. 

 

Mary Mueggenborg
Social Science Research Analyst
Head Start, Health

Mary Mueggenborg’s work focuses on early care and education, specifically the Head Start program, and career pathways training programs for low-income individuals, specifically the Health Profession Opportunity Grants program. She also has a particular interest in projects related to services for victims of human trafficking as well as women’s health. Prior to joining OPRE, she was a Research Coordinator at the Child & Adolescent Services Research Center, where she coordinated research projects related to maternal depression, early intervention programs for children with special needs, and child welfare. Ms. Mueggenborg holds a Master of Social Work degree.

 

Ann Rivera
Social Science Research Analyst
Dual Language Learners, Head Start, Child Care

Ann Rivera is a Social Science Research Analyst at the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation within the Administration for Children and Families, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Ann oversees research grants and contracts focused primarily on early care and education, specifically Head Start and child care programs, and on improving human services for Hispanic, immigrant, cultural and linguistic minority populations. To date, her portfolio at OPRE includes: Head Start CARES Demonstration, Child Care Policy Research Partnerships, Child Care Research Scholars, National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families, Report to Congress on Dual Language Learners in Head Start, Center for Early Care and Education Research: Dual Language Learners, ACF’s Hispanic Research Work Group, and OPRE’s Human Services Research Dissemination Project. Prior to her appointment as a Social Science Research Analyst, Ann was a Society for Research in Child Development Executive Branch Policy Fellow at OPRE. Ann’s own research has examined the effects of social exclusion, community‐based and government programs (e.g., Head Start, WIC, SNAP) in the lives of immigrant and low‐income children and families, using survey, quasi-experimental, ethnographic, and participatory research methods. While completing her doctoral training, she served as Co-Director of a longitudinal ethnographic study of low-income families with young children and provided research support to various community-based organizations in New York City. Ann received a B.A. in Religion from Haverford College and a Ph.D. in Community Psychology with a specialization in Developmental Psychology from New York University.

 

Maria Woolverton
Child Welfare Research Team Leader/Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Child Welfare, Foster Care, and Head Start

Maria Woolverton is the Team Leader for Child Welfare Research at OPRE, where she oversees a diverse portfolio of research studies focused on child welfare programs and Head Start. These include the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), a nationally-representative descriptive study of Head Start, the National Incidence Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS), and evaluations of the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program and the Permanency Innovations Initiative (PII). Prior to joining OPRE, she was a Senior Research Associate at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development, where her work focused on children’s mental health and child welfare services. She served on a number of federal workgroups and advisory panels, and contributed to the development of policy statements and standards, including the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry/Child Welfare League of America Policy Statement on Mental Health and Substance Use Screening and Assessment of Children in Foster Care and the Child Welfare League of America Standards of Excellence for Health Care Services for Children in Out of Home Care. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University and did doctoral work in psychology at Stanford University.

 

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Division of Economic Independence (DEI)

Mark Fucello
Division Director

Mark Fucello began his federal career as a Presidential Management Fellow.  He has been the Director of the Division of Economic Independence in OPRE since 2008 and was OPRE’s executive officer in the prior year. Mark has directed national evaluations of employment and training and responsible fatherhood demonstrations as well as State AFDC/TANF research demonstrations in the years prior to and directly after the 1996 welfare reforms.  Before moving to Washington he taught English at a Jesuit prep school and directed a summer academic program for low-income students in New Orleans. He served in the United States Peace Corps in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He received an MPP from the George Washington University and is a graduate of Rutgers College.

 

Kimberly Clum
Social Science Analyst

 

Hilary Forster
Social Science Research Analyst
Health Professions Opportunity Evaluations, Employment and Training, WREC Conference

Hilary Forster is a Social Science Research Analyst. She leads the Health Profession Opportunity Grants research and evaluation portfolio. She also manages work related to employment and training, performance management, and conducting research with tribal communities. In addition, she manages OPRE’s WREC Conference. Ms. Forster came to OPRE as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2010. Prior to joining OPRE, she worked as a Research Analyst at the American Institutes for Research in the Education, Human Development, and the Workforce Program. Ms. Forster holds a BA in Psychology from Georgetown University and an MPP, with a concentration in Education, Social and Family Policy, from the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University.

 

Brendan Kelly
Dissemination Team Leader/Senior Social Science Research Analyst
TANF program and policy Research, Employment and Training, Family Self-Sufficiency

Brendan Kelly is the Dissemination Team Leader in OPRE. His research focuses on improving public policies for low-income children and their families in order to lift them out of poverty. He currently serves as the lead federal project officer for the ACF’s Innovative Strategies for Increasing Self-Sufficiency demonstration and evaluation (ISIS) and as the lead for the Family Self-Sufficiency Research Scholars Network. Prior to his service at the Department of Health and Human Services, Mr. Kelly worked at the U.S. Department of Labor as a Truman Fellow. He is a 1999 graduate from St. John's University (MN) where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree summa cum laude, All-College Honors, and Distinction in Political Science and Peace Studies. He received his Master of Public Administration degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 2001 and completed doctoral coursework at Columbia University. Mr. Kelly was a 1998 Truman Scholar from Minnesota and a Presidential Management Fellow in 2001-2003.

 

Tiffany McCormack
Social Scientist Research Analyst

 

Amelia Popham
Social Scientist Research Analyst

 

Emily Schmitt
Senior Social Scientist Research Analyst
TANF program and policy Research, Child and Family Well-Being, Homelessness Issues, Work and Family Issues

Emily Schmitt manages a portfolio of research related to human services and the wellbeing of low-income families. She leads OPRE’s work on the application of behavioral economics to human services, as well as projects related to TANF, employment and training, homeless and disconnected families, and work family issues. Previously Ms. Schmitt worked for the U.S. House of Representatives and the National Alliance to End Homelessness. She is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Kennedy School.

 

Girley Wright
Senior Program Analyst
TANF program and policy Research, Special Populations, Incarcerated Parents, Transitional Jobs Studies

Girley Wright is a Senior Program Analyst. Her portfolio includes topics related to self-sufficiency, employment and the well-being of low-income individuals, including subsidized employment and TANF-related issues. She has a particular interest in strategies that will improve the skills of low-income workers. Prior to joining OPRE, she held positions at the Social Security Administration. Ms. Wright holds a BA from Benedict College.

 

Carli Wulff
Social Science Research Analyst

 

Erica Hecht Zielewski
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Family Self-Sufficiency, Youth Development Research, Assets building Research, Welfare Research and Evaluation Conference

Erica Hecht Zielewski is a Senior Social Science Research Analyst. Her portfolio includes several topics related to self-sufficiency and the well-being of low-income individuals, including subsidized employment, youth transitions to adulthood, job search assistance, youth employment strategies, and financial literacy and asset-building approaches. She also has a particular interest in youth aging out of the foster care system, and has previously managed OPRE’s Bi-Annual WREC Conference. Ms. Zielewski came to OPRE as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2009. Prior to joining OPRE, she was a Research Associate at The Urban Institute where her research focused on child welfare and well-being, youth transitioning from the foster care system, adoption and adoptive family recruitment, family leave policies, and asset-building programs. Ms. Zielewski holds a master’s degree in public policy from the Georgetown Public Policy Institute and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Vassar College.

 

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Division of Family Strengthening (DFS)

Lauren Supplee
Division Director

Lauren H. Supplee is the director of the Division of Family Strengthening in OPRE. This division includes work related to: healthy marriage, responsible fatherhood, youth development, teen pregnancy prevention, early childhood home visiting, and domestic violence. Prior to this position her portfolio at OPRE included projects such as: Head Start CARES, a national group-randomized trial of evidence-based social-emotional promotion programs in Head Start classrooms; Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness (HomVEE), a transparent systematic review of the evidence on home visitation programs; Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation (MIHOPE), a Congressionally mandated national evaluation of the new Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program; MIHOPE-Strong Start, an expansion of MIHOPE to examine home visiting and birth outcomes; the Society for Research in Child Development Policy Fellowship; and leadership of the federal Interagency Workgroup on Research on Evidence-Based Policies and Programs. She received her Ph.D. from Indiana University in educational psychology with a specialization in family-focused early intervention services. Her research interests include evidence-based policy, social-emotional development in early childhood, parenting, prevention/intervention programs for children at-risk, and implementation research.

 

Seth Chamberlain
Adolescent Development Research Team Leader/Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Strengthening Families, Responsible Fatherhood, Family Support, Youth Development, and Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention

Seth Chamberlain’s work focuses on a range of youth, family formation, and family functioning issues, e.g. adolescent pregnancy prevention, strengthening families, responsible fatherhood, and domestic violence; he also works on issues related to low-income and at-risk lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations. He has a particular interest in healthy adolescent development and successful transition to adulthood. Prior to joining OPRE, Mr. Chamberlain taught middle school Spanish in Chicago, interned at a program for men convicted of domestic battery, and interned as a clinical social worker at the University of Chicago Hospital. Mr. Chamberlain holds a B.A. from Goshen College and an A.M. from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration.

 

Clare DiSalvo
Social Science Research Analyst
Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention and Home Visiting

Clare DiSalvo’s work focuses on improving our understanding of how to support and strengthen vulnerable families. She oversees research initiatives related to efforts to reduce pregnancy among teenagers and provide support for low-income parents. Ms. DiSalvo has also spearheaded projects related to low-income Hispanic populations and re-entry for ex-offenders. Prior to attending graduate school and joining OPRE, she worked as a community organizer. Ms. DiSalvo holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.P.P. from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

 

Nancy Geyelin Margie
Social Science Research Analyst
Home Visiting, Head Start, Child Care, Child Welfare, and Parental Involvement/Family Engagement

Nancy Geyelin Margie is currently working primarily on the Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation (MIHOPE), which is the national evaluation of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, and MIHOPE-Strong Start, a national evaluation examining the effects of home visiting on birth and health outcomes of Medicaid families. During her time in OPRE, Dr. Margie has worked on projects related to home visiting, family engagement, Head Start, and child care. She was a Society for Research in Child Development Executive Branch Fellow at OPRE. Prior to graduate school, Dr. Margie was a research assistant at the National Academies for the report From Neurons to Neighborhoods, and at Child Trends working on early childhood topics. Dr. Margie holds a B.A. from Haverford College and a Ph.D. in Human Development from the University of Maryland.

 

Aleta Meyer
Team Lead for American Indian and Alaskan Native Research/Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Home Visiting, Supplimental Parenting Enhancements to Early Head Start, Research Capacity Building with American Indian and Alaskan Native Communities, Youth Development, and Prevention

Dr. Aleta Meyer’s work focuses on the translation of theory and empirical research across multiple health outcomes into effective and feasible prevention programs for communities.  At ACF this includes the translation of research on early adversity to ACF programs, community-based-participatory-research to evaluate early childhood programs within American Indian/Alaska Native communities, and positive youth development.  From 2007-2010, she was a health scientist administrator in the Prevention Research Branch at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).  Prior to joining NIDA, she was an Associate Professor of Psychology in the Clark-Hill Institute for Positive Youth Development at Virginia Commonwealth University.  She completed her doctoral work in Human Development and Family Studies at The Pennsylvania State University, with an emphasis in Prevention Science.

 

Anna Solmeyer
Social Science Research Analyst
Strengthening Families, Responsible Fatherhood

 

T'Pring Westbrook
Social Science Research Analyst
Home Visiting, Early Childhood, and Military Families

T’Pring Westbrook’s work focuses on evaluation of programs designed to support families and children. She has a particular interest in home visiting, parent education, and facilitating the use of secondary data for analysis. Specifically, Dr. Westbrook is involved with projects related to the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program, child welfare, evidence-based policy. Dr. Westbrook holds a B.A. from Hampton University and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park.

 

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The Society for Research in Child Development Fellows (SRCD Fellows)

 

Nina Hetzner
Division of Child and Family Development

Nina Philipsen Hetzner is a Society for Research in Child Development Fellow at OPRE during the 2013-2015 academic years. Her work at OPRE focuses on early care and education, primarily research on the Head Start and Early Head Start programs. She is interested in the effects of early childhood experiences on longitudinal development and how research in this area can inform effective policy and practice. Prior to joining OPRE, she taught a Social Welfare Policy Course at Columbia University and worked as a research consultant with the New York City Department of Education on the development of the First Step NYC Leadership Institute. Dr. Philipsen Hetzner holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, a MS in Child Development from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University.

 

Julie Leis
Division of Child and Family Development

Julie Leis is a Society for Research in Child Development Fellow at OPRE during the 2014-2015 academic year. Her work at OPRE focuses on family strengthening and early childhood health and development, and she works primarily on projects related to healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood as well as home visiting, Head Start, and Early Head Start. She is particularly interested in parenting, child and parent health and mental health, and the intersection between research and policy and practice. Prior to joining OPRE she completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where her work centered on implementation and evaluation of a preventive intervention for perinatal depression in low-income, underserved populations. Dr. Leis holds a B.S. in psychology from Northeastern University and a Ph.D. in public health with a concentration in mental health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison National Poverty Fellows

 

Melinda Petre
Division of Economic Independence

 

Shoman Shamsuddin
Division of Economic Independence

Shomon Shamsuddin is a National Poverty Fellow at OPRE during the 2014-2015 academic year. His work at OPRE focuses on the relationship between housing instability and access to services across various welfare programs. He is particularly interested in affordable housing policy, differences in program implementation, and the spatial aspects of socioeconomic mobility. He holds a Sc.B. from Brown University and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

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The Harry S Truman Scholarship Foundation Fellows (Truman Fellows)

 

Tyler Hatch
Division of Family Strengthening

Tyler Hatch is a Truman-Albright Fellow at OPRE in the Division of Family Strengthening. His work at OPRE focuses on LGBT youth, responsible fatherhood, and healthy marriage initiatives. Mr. Hatch holds a BA in History and a BA in Political Economy from The College of Idaho.

 

Brandon Hersey
Division of Economic Independence

 

Andrew Keefe
Division of Child and Family Development

Andrew Keefe is a Truman-Albright Fellow at OPRE during the 2014-2015 academic year. His work at OPRE focuses on early childcare for Hispanic communities, including dual language learners and families eligible for Migrant and Seasonal Head Start services. Mr. Keefe holds a BA from Macalester College.

 

Narintohn Luangrath
Division of Economic Independence

Narintohn Luangrath is a Truman-Albright Fellow at OPRE during the 2014-2015 academic year. Her work at OPRE focuses on Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), psychological self-sufficiency, and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS). Ms. Luangrath holds a B.A. from Boston College and is a Portland, Oregon native.

 

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Business Strategies Consultants Staff (BSC)

 

Meryl Barofsky
OPRE Research Fellow
Early Childhood Research
Division of Child and Family Development

Meryl Yoches Barofsky is an OPRE Research Fellow with Business Strategy Consultants providing research support to OPRE. Her work at OPRE focuses on early care and education, primarily on child care programs and infant and toddler development. She has a particular interest in child care subsidies, maternal and child well-being and measurement and advanced statistical methods. Dr. Barofsky holds a BA in Psychology from Connecticut College, and a Ph.D. in Human Development and Quantitative methodology from the University of Maryland, College Park.

 

Amanda Clincy
Social Science Research Analyst
Division of Child and Family Development & Division of Family Strengthening

Amanda Clincy is a Social Science Research Analyst with Business Strategy Consultants providing research support to OPRE. She currently works on several early care and education projects, such as the Early Head Start Child and Family Experiences Survey and the Head Start Child and Family Experiences Survey, which are large-scale descriptive studies of Early Head Start and Head Start. Amanda also works on projects related to father engagement in home visiting programs, partnerships between early childhood programs and child welfare agencies, and secondary data analysis of early childhood datasets. She is particularly interested in developing research to practice briefs that are concise, digestible, and relevant to various audiences. She holds a BA from Howard University and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 

Nicole Constance
OPRE Research Fellow
Division of Economic Independence

Nicole Constance is an OPRE Research Fellow with Business Strategy Consultants providing research support to OPRE. Her work at OPRE focuses on employment and self-sufficiency, and she works primarily on projects related to career pathways and responsible fatherhood programs for incarcerated and recently-released fathers. She has a particular interest in improving employment opportunities for low-income populations, particularly young men, and in statistical methods. Prior to joining OPRE, she completed internships with the U.S. Census Bureau in the Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division’s Survey Improvement Research Branch, and with Child Trends in their Youth Development area. Ms. Constance holds a BS in Psychology and a BS in Anthropology from Virginia Commonwealth University, a MS in Human Development and Family Studies and Demography from Penn State University, and is finishing her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies and Demography from Penn State.

 

Nicole Denmark
OPRE Research Fellow
Division of Family Strengthening

Nicole Denmark is a OPRE Research Fellow with Business Strategy Consultants providing research support to OPRE. Her work at OPRE focuses on early care and education, and other human service programs for American Indian/ Alaskan Native communities. Nicole has a strong interest in cultural and contextual influences on parenting and on the effectiveness of programs for young children and families. Nicole is also very interested in participatory approaches to research and evaluation, including measurement development. Prior to joining OPRE, Nicole worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Maryland College Park, where she managed evaluations of home visiting programs for low-income families. Nicole’s dissertation study on the experiences of Central American immigrant children and families in Head Start was funded through a Head Start Scholars dissertation award. Nicole holds a BA in Psychology from Reed College, and a Ph.D. in Human Development from the University of Maryland College Park.

 

Christine Fortunato
Social Science Research Analyst
Division of Child and Family Development

Christine Fortunato is a Social Science Research Analyst with Business Strategy Consultants providing research support to OPRE. Her work at OPRE focuses on early care and education, specifically Head Start and Early Head Start programs. She is particularly interested in stress and coping in children and families; quality improvement for early childhood programs; and statistical methods. Prior to her appointment as a Social Scientist, she was a Society for Research in Child Development Executive Branch Policy Fellow at OPRE. She previously held a post-doctoral fellowship at the Child Brain Development Lab at Penn State University, where she collaborated with an interdisciplinary research team on a randomized clinical trial of a targeted intervention for early onset aggression. Dr. Fortunato holds a BA in Biology and Psychology from Clark University, and a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State University..

 

Samantha Illangasekare
Research Analyst
Division of Family Strengthening

Samantha Illangasekare is a research analyst with Business Strategy Consultants providing research support to OPRE. Her work at OPRE focuses on relationship and family strengthening, and she works primarily on projects related to Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood programs and domestic violence initiatives. She is particularly interested in program development and implementation, intimate partner and dating violence prevention and intervention, mixed methods, and community-based participatory research methods. Prior to joining OPRE, she was on faculty at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where her research focused on intimate partner violence and community-based health initiatives. Dr. Illangasekare holds a B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University, a Masters in Public Health from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

 

Molly Jones
Research Analyst

Molly Jones is a research analyst with Business Strategy Consultants, providing support to OPRE in a number of areas. At OPRE, she coordinates Paperwork Reduction Act activities and the review and release of research reports. Prior to joining OPRE, she was a full time Graduate Research Assistant at The George Washington University after teaching seventh and eighth grade mathematics. Ms. Jones holds a BS from Cornell University, a MAT from PACE University, and a MA in Education Policy from The George Washington University.

 

Deric Joyner
Dissemination Specialist

Deric Joyner is a Dissemination Specialist with Business Strategy Consultants, providing strategic research communications and dissemination support to OPRE. His work focuses on the effective dissemination of OPRE’s rigorous research and evaluation to the multiple stakeholders and audiences seeking to expand their understanding of ACF programs. He has a particular interest in leveraging organizational collaboration and communications across online and social media platforms to increase the engagement and impact of dissemination. Prior to joining OPRE, he held positions at the National Academy of Social Insurance, where he managed policy research communications and served a project manager for multiple organizational efforts. Mr. Joyner holds a BA from Morehouse College, and a MA in Public Administration from American University.

 

Kathleen McCoy

Social Science Research Analyst
Division of Child and Family Development & Division of Family Stregthening

Kathleen McCoy is a Social Science Research Analyst at OPRE academic year. Her work at OPRE focuses on family strengthening, in particular teen pregnancy prevention and healthy marriage/responsible fatherhood. Additionally, she works on child and foster care related projects. Prior to joining OPRE, she was the Chief Psychology Post-doctoral fellow at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, as well as a Post-doc in the Health Disparities and Public Policy lab. Dr. McCoy holds a BS from Drexel University, and a PhD from the University of Notre Dame.

 

Cameron Sarik
Budget Analyst

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