Staff & Organization

OPRE Staff, Contractors, and Fellows
 

Bios
 

OPRE Staff |  DCFD  |  DEI  |  DFS  |  DDI

SRCD Fellows | National Poverty Fellows | BSC | LSI/Tetrus Corporation

OPRE Staff

Naomi Goldstein
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning, Research and Evaluation

Emily Schmitt
Deputy Director

Melissa Barry
Staff Assistant

Sheila Celentano
Budget Officer

Emmanuel (Manny) Fortson

Executive Officer

Emily Ball Jabbour
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
ACF Performance Officer

Molly Jones
Social Science Research Analyst

Paperwork Reduction Act

 

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Division of Child and Family Development (DCFD)

Mary Bruce Webb
Division Director

Meryl Barofsky
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Head Start, Child Care, American Indian/Alaska Native Early Care and Education

Alysia Blandon
Social Science Research Analyst
Division of Child and Family Development

Amanda Clincy Coleman
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Head Start, Early Head Start, Early Childhood Home Visiting, Systematic Evidence Reviews, Adoption and Guardianship Instability

Wendy DeCourcey
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Head Start, Migrant and Seasonal Head Start, National Research Conference on Early Childhood

Kathleen Dwyer
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Team Leader for Parenting and Parent Well-Being Research
Child Care, Head Start and Early Head Start, Child Welfare, Human Trafficking, Early Adversity, Two-Generation Approaches

Christine Fortunato
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Team Leader for Child Welfare Research

Nina Hetzner
Social Science Research Analyst
Division of Child and Family Development

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

Amy Madigan
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Team Leader for Head Start Research

Early Head Start, Head Start

Jenessa Malin
Social Science Research Analyst

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

Mary Mueggenborg
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Human Trafficking, Child Welfare, Youth Homelessness, Head Start

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

 

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Division of Economic Independence (DEI)

Mark Fucello
Division Director

Hilary Bruck
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Team Leader for Employment and Training Research

Employment and Training, Career Pathways, Health Profession Opportunity Grants Evaluations, Coaching, Family Self-Sufficiency

Kimberly Clum
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Employment, Evidence Reviews, Behavioral Interventions, Racial and Ethnic Disparities

Nicole Constance
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Team Leader for Noncustodial Parent Research

Child Support, Career Pathways Programs, Employment and Training, Health Profession Opportunity Grants Evaluations, Justice-Involved Parents, Non-residential Parents

Lauren Deutsch
Social Science Research Analyst
Employment and Training, Family Self-Sufficiency, TANF Program and Policy Research, Health Profession Opportunity Grants Evaluation, Homelessness and Housing Instability, Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency

Victoria Kabak
Social Science Research Analyst
Behavioral Interventions Research, TANF Program and Policy Research, Family Self-Sufficiency, Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency

Marie Lawrence
Social Science Research Analyst

Employment and Training, TANF Program and Policy Research, Child Support, Behavioral Interventions Research, Refugee Populations

Tiffany McCormack
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
TANF Program and Policy Research, Family Self-Sufficiency, Employment and Training, Asset-Building Research, Refugee Populations

Gabrielle Newell
Social Science Research Analyst
TANF Program and Policy Research, Employment and Training, Case Management, Workforce Development

Amelia Popham
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
TANF Program and Policy Research, Family Self-Sufficiency, Employment and Training, Health Profession Opportunity Grants Evaluations, Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency

Megan Reid
Social Science Research Analyst
Employment, Child Support, Reentry from Incarceration, Healthy Marriage, Fatherhood, Racial and Ethnic Equity

Elaine Sorensen
Senior Advisor, Child Support

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

Lisa Zingman
Social Science Research Analyst

 

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Division of Family Strengthening (DFS)

Maria Woolverton
Division Director

Shirley Adelstein
Social Science Research Analyst

Caryn Blitz
Senior Program Analyst

Tia Brown
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Team Leader for Adolescent Development Research

Selma Caal
Social Science Research Analyst

Nicole Denmark
Senior Social Science Research Analyst

Senior Social Science Research Analyst

Pooja Gupta
Social Science Research Analyst

Samantha Illangasekare
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Team Leader for Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Research

Kriti M. Jain
Social Science Research Analyst

National Domestic Violence Hotline, Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood, Innovative Methods

Nancy Geyelin Margie
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Team Leader for Home Visiting Research
Home Visiting

Aleta Meyer
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Team Leader for Community-Engaged and American Indian and Alaskan Native Research

Evaluation of Implementation and Adaptation of Home Visiting in Tribal Communities, Supplemental Parenting Enhancements to Early Head Start, Research Capacity Building with American Indian and Alaskan Native Communities, Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress, Positive Youth Development, and Prevention

Kelly Jedd McKenzie
Social Science Research Analyst

Laura Nerenberg
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Home Visiting, Statistical Methods

Senior Social Science Research Analyst

 

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Division of Data and Improvement (DDI)

Division Director

Brett Brown
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Social Indicators, Youth Development, Administrative and Survey Data

Valeria Butler
Senior Social Science Research Analyst

Christi Dant
State Systems Coordinator

Nicole Deterding
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Evidence Capacity Building, ACF Administrative Data, Research Design and Methodology

Elizabeth Booker Houston
Social Science Research Analyst
Privacy Analyst

Thomas Miller
Program Director
Public Assistance Reporting Information System (PARIS)

Christopher Traver
Senior Advisor for Information Sharing
Team Leader for Interoperability Initiatives

 

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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)

Sarah Blankenship
Division of Child and Family Development

Erin Cannon
Division of Child and Family Development

Emily C. Ross
Division of Child and Family Development

 

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

Melody Harvey
Division of Economic Independence

Kathleen Moore
Division of Data and Improvement/Division of Economic Independence

Nicol Valdez
University of Wisconsin National Poverty Center Fellow

 

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Business Strategy Consultants Staff (BSC)

Ciara Bridges
Research Assistant
Division of Data and Improvement

Elaine Carpenter
Research Assistant
Division of Economic Independence

Dionna C. Cheatham
Research Assistant
Division of Family Strengthening

Tracy Carter Clopet
Social Science Research Analyst
Division of Child and Family Development

Division of Economic Independence

Clare DiSalvo
Social Science Research Analyst
Division of Economic Independence

Justin Falcone
Data Visualization and Media Manager

Deric Joyner
Senior Dissemination Strategist

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

Katherine McKinney
Management Analyst

Allison Walker
Research Assistant
Division of Child and Family Development

Camille Wilson
Special Assistant
Office of the Director

Catherine Workmeister
Budget Analyst

 

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LSI/Tetrus Corporation

Joseph Warren
Senior Analyst
Division of Data and Improvement

 

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Bios

OPRE StaffDCFD  |  DEI  |  DFS |  DDI 
SRCD Fellows  |  National Poverty Fellows  |  BSC  |  LSI/Tetrus Corporation

OPRE Staff

 

Naomi Goldstein Photo

Naomi Goldstein
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning, Research and Evaluation

Naomi Goldstein is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning, Research and Evaluation. She advises the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families on improving the effectiveness and efficiency of ACF programs. Goldstein joined ACF as Director of the OPRE Division of Child and Family Development in 2000. She became Director of OPRE in 2004 and Deputy Assistant Secretary in 2015. 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.

 

Emily Schmitt Photo

Emily Schmitt
Deputy Director

Emily Schmitt is the Deputy Director of OPRE. As Deputy Director, Ms. Schmitt works closely with the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning, Research and Evaluation to plan and execute the mission of OPRE. Ms. Schmitt joined OPRE in 2009 and served as a Research Fellow, Social Science Research Analyst, Senior Social Science Research Analyst, and Team Leader for Behavioral Science in OPRE prior to becoming Deputy Director in 2016. In these roles she initiated and led OPRE’s work on the application of behavioral economics to human services, and oversaw projects related to TANF, employment and training, and homeless and disconnected families. Prior to joining OPRE, 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.

 

Melissa Barry Photo Melissa Barry
Staff Assistant

 

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Sheila Celentano
Budget Officer

Sheila Celentano is the Budget Officer for OPRE, providing budget, financial, and systems support. She is one of the system administrators and key integrators for the internal Project and Accounting tracking system. She specializes in financial process improvement, user communications and training, and strategic planning. Sheila is also trained as a Six Sigma Black Belt. Sheila became a federal employee in January of 2015. Previously she supported the OPRE budget office as a contractor for Business Strategy Consultants. Prior to joining OPRE she worked for a variety of defense contractors in financial systems support over the last 30 years; most notably at TASC, Inc. for 14 years; and is happy to be on the softer side of government now. Sheila holds a BS in applied Mathematics from Norwich University, Northfield, VT and received her Master’s in Organizational Leadership in 2014, also from Norwich University.

 

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Emmanuel (Manny) Fortson
Executive Officer

Manny’s work focuses on integrating and coordinating overall administrative functions for the Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation. Prior to joining OPRE, Manny served as an Administrative Operations Supervisor for the U.S. Small Business Administration where he was responsible for providing oversight to the agency's Disaster Travel Program. Manny also served with the Marine Corps for 11 years on active duty as a Personnel and Administrative Chief. In his free time, he enjoys running, lifting weights, and is a diehard Philadelphia sports fan.

 

Emily Ball Jabbour Photo

Emily Ball Jabbour
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
ACF Performance Officer

Emily Ball Jabbour is the Performance Officer 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 Agency Priority Goals, GPRA performance measures, agency contributions to the HHS Strategic Plan, and other performance items related to the annual budget request. Ms. Jabbour is also Project Officer for the OPRE web contract and the acquisition services support contract. She holds a BA in psychology from Boston College and a Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) in social policy with a law minor from Columbia University.

 

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Molly Jones
Social Science Research Analyst
Paperwork Reduction Act

Molly Jones coordinates Paperwork Reduction Act activities for OPRE and ACF program offices. She also works on budget-related matters and other projects within OPRE, as needed. 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, an MAT from PACE University, and an MA in Education Policy from The George Washington University.

 

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Division of Child and Family Development (DCFD)

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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 the 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.

 

Meryl Barofsky Photo

Meryl Barofsky
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Head Start, Child Care, American Indian/Alaska Native Early Care and Education

Meryl Yoches Barofsky’s work focuses on early care and education, primarily on child care programs and Head Start. To date, her portfolio at OPRE includes: American Indian/Alaska Native Head Start Child and Family Experiences Survey (AI/AN FACES), American Indian/Alaska Native Early Childhood Needs Assessment Design Project, Assessing the Cost and Implementation of High Quality Early Care and Education (ECE-ICHQ), Child Care and Development Block Grant Implementation Research and Evaluation Grants, Child Care Interstate Background Check Project (CC-IbaCs), Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Study, ACF’s National Research Conference on Early Childhood, Tribal Early Childhood Research Center, and coordination of the Network of Infant/Toddler Researchers (NITR). Meryl’s own research interests include: child care subsidies and family well-being, measurement and advanced statistical methods, and early risk and protective factors for children and families. 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.

 

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Alysia Blandon
Social Science Research Analyst
Division of Child and Family Development

Alysia Blandon is a Social Science Research Analyst providing research support to OPRE. Her work at OPRE focuses on child welfare and early care and education. To date, her portfolio at OPRE includes: Judicial Decision-Making and Hearing Quality in Child Welfare, Understanding Postadoption and Guardianship Instability for Children and Youth Who Exit Foster Care, Supporting Evidence Building in Child Welfare, Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), Child Care and Development Block Grant Implementation Research and Evaluation Grants, Center for Supporting Research on Child Care and Development Block Grant Implementation, Understanding Poverty: Childhood and Family Experiences and TANF Office Culture, and the Network of Infant/Toddler Researchers (NitR). Prior to joining OPRE, she was an Assistant Professor at the Pennsylvania State University. Her research focused on parenting, coparenting, and young children’s social and emotional development. Dr. Blandon holds a BA in Psychology from Colorado College and PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of Michigan.

 

Amanda Coleman Photo

Amanda Clincy Coleman
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Head Start, Early Head Start, Early Childhood Home Visiting, Systematic Evidence Reviews, Adoption and Guardianship Instability

Amanda Clincy Coleman’s portfolio in OPRE is focused on early care and education, early childhood home visiting, and child welfare. In particular, she currently manages a systematic evidence review of early childhood home visiting models, several descriptive studies of Head Start and Early Head Start, as well as a project examining early childhood systems integration. Her research interests include improving the delivery of comprehensive services to children and families with special attention to research methods and approaches for examining issues of racial equity. Prior to her current appointment, Amanda was a Society for Research in Child Development Executive Branch Policy Fellow at OPRE. She holds a BA from Howard University and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 

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Wendy DeCourcey
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Head Start, Migrant and Seasonal Head Start, National Research Conference on Early Childhood

Wendy DeCourcey works primarily on research involving early childhood care and education programs. She provides guidance regarding grants’ announcements, competition and monitoring. Her recent projects focus on professional development, coaching, and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start. In addition, Wendy leads the development of ACF’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.

 

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Kathleen Dwyer
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Team Leader for Parenting and Parent Well-Being Research
Child Care, Head Start and Early Head Start, Child Welfare, Human Trafficking, Early Adversity, Two-Generation Approaches

Kathleen Dwyer’s work focuses on child development, parenting, early care and education, and approaches to improving child and family well-being. Several of her projects support child care policy research (CCDF Policies Database, Child Care Administrative Data Analysis Center, Center to Support Evaluations of CCDF Policy Implementations). She co-leads a project that is exploring two-generation approaches to improving family self-sufficiency, and she oversees a set of grants that are testing targeted two-generation approaches within the context of Head Start. She also oversees a set of grants that are testing approaches to promoting and improving early child development by supporting both parenting and caregiving in Early Head Start programs. A new project will build the evidence for interventions for the child welfare population. Dr. Dwyer originally began her work at OPRE as a Society for Research in Child Development Executive Branch Policy Fellow. She has a Ph.D. in Human Development with a specialization in Developmental Sciences from the University of Maryland.

 

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Christine Fortunato
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Team Leader for Child Welfare Research

Christine Fortunato is the team leader for child welfare research in OPRE. Dr. Fortunato develops and coordinates research activities related to child welfare and other programs serving low-income children and their families. She oversees a diverse array of projects, including the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being, Feasibility of Linking Administrative Data to Better Understand Child Maltreatment Incidence, and the Study of Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships. She is particularly interested in using research and data to aid key stakeholders in making more informed decisions about implementing feasible and effective interventions. Dr. Fortunato originally began her work at OPRE as a Society for Research in Child Development Executive Branch Policy Fellow. She holds a doctorate in Human Development and Family Studies from the Pennsylvania State University.

 

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Nina Hetzner
Social Science Research Analyst
Division of Child and Family Development

Nina Philipsen Hetzner’s work focuses on Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care programs. She is interested in quality improvement in early care and education and how early childhood experiences influence longitudinal development. She is also interested in applying research and data to inform quality improvement and effective policy and practice. Prior to her current position, she was a Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Policy Fellow, a research consultant with the New York City Department of Education on the development of the First Step NYC Leadership Institute, and a graduate fellow at the National Center for Children and Families. Dr. Philipsen Hetzner holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, an MS in Child Development from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University.

 

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

Laura Hoard is a Senior 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 an 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.

 

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Amy Madigan
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Team Leader for Head Start Research

Early Head Start, Head Start

Amy Madigan is the team leader for Head Start research in OPRE where she provides leadership for research and policy activities related to Head Start, Early Head Start and other programs serving low income children and their families. Her research interests focus on quality improvement of early childhood programs, particularly as it relates to curriculum, assessment, and professional development. She is also interested in using research and data to drive quality improvement at both national and local levels. 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.

 

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Jenessa Malin
Social Science Research Analyst

Jenessa Malin is a Social Science Research Analyst in OPRE. Her portfolio includes research and evaluation projects related to child welfare and early care and education programs. She is particularly interested in the application of innovative methods and study designs to examine policy relevant research questions. Dr. Malin began her work at OPRE as a Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Executive Branch Policy Fellow. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Duke University. She also holds an M.A. in Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation and a Ph.D. in Human Development, both from the University of Maryland, College Park.

 

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

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 Rating 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.

 

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Mary Mueggenborg
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Human Trafficking, Child Welfare, Youth Homelessness, Head Start

Mary Mueggenborg leads OPRE’s portfolio of research related to human trafficking. In addition, she manages a diverse portfolio of work related to child welfare, youth homelessness, and Head Start. She also has an interest in research on how neighborhood and community characteristics influence child and family well-being. Prior to joining OPRE, she was a Research Coordinator at the Child & Adolescent Services Research Center, where she managed research projects related to maternal depression, child welfare, and early intervention programs for children with special needs. Ms. Mueggenborg holds a Master of Social Work degree and a bachelor’s degree in sociology.

 

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

Ann Rivera began her federal career as a Society for Research in Child Development Executive Branch Policy Fellow at OPRE. Ann’s portfolio focuses broadly on increasing access to high-quality early care and education and improving human services for low-income and vulnerable children and families. To date, Ann’s portfolio at ACF includes: Child Care and Early Education Policy Research Consortium, Child Care Research Scholars, Early Childhood Training and Technical Assistance Cross-System Evaluation Project, National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families, and Professional Development Tools to Improve the Quality of Infant and Toddler Care. In addition, Ann works on a variety of internal projects intended to communicate and bridge research to practice more effectively and to promote cultural and linguistic responsiveness in ACF services. While completing her doctoral training, Ann provided research support to community agencies in New York City, using survey, quasi-experimental, ethnographic, and participatory research methods. Ann received a B.A. in Religion from Haverford College and a Ph.D. in Community Psychology from New York University.

 

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Division of Economic Independence (DEI)

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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 in New Orleans. He served in the United States Peace Corps in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is a graduate of the George Washington University and Rutgers College.

 

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Hilary Bruck
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Team Leader for Employment and Training Research

Employment and Training, Career Pathways, Health Profession Opportunity Grants Evaluations, Coaching, Family Self-Sufficiency

Hilary Bruck is a Senior Social Science Research Analyst. She leads the Health Profession Opportunity Grants research and evaluation portfolio. Additionally, Hilary manages work related to employment and training interventions for low-income individuals, specifically focused on career pathways and coaching interventions. She previously managed OPRE’s biennial Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency. Mrs. Bruck 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. Hilary holds an M.P.P., with a concentration in Education, Social and Family Policy, from the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University, and a B.A. in Psychology from Georgetown University.

 

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Kimberly Clum
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Employment, Evidence Reviews, Behavioral Interventions, Racial and Ethnic Disparities

Kim Clum’s work focuses on low-income adults, economic self-sufficiency, the application of behavioral sciences to human services, and racial and ethnic disparities in the human services. She has a particular interest in innovative approaches to improving employment and earnings outcomes for low-income adults and qualitative methods. With Victoria Kabak, she co-leads OPRE’s work on behavioral interventions to advance self-sufficiency. Prior to joining OPRE, she held positions in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at HHS, where she worked on an array of policy and program areas, including those related to disconnected youth, low-income men, reentry, and the child support program. Before that, she was at the University of Michigan, where she conducted qualitative research on topics related to low-income families, well-being, and mobility. Dr. Clum holds a BA, MSW, and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

 

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Nicole Constance
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Team Leader for Noncustodial Parent Research

Child Support, Career Pathways Programs, Employment and Training, Health Profession Opportunity Grants Evaluations, Justice-Involved Parents, Non-residential Parents

Nicole Constance leads OPRE’s research with noncustodial parents, and OPRE’s research and evaluation support to the ACF Office of Child Support Enforcement. Her work in OPRE focuses on employment and training, career pathways programs, parents involved in the child support program, parents who do not live with their children, and justice-involved parents. She is especially interested in improving employment opportunities for low-income populations, particularly young men, noncustodial parents, and parents who have been incarcerated. 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. Dr. Constance holds a B.S. in Psychology and a B.S. in Anthropology from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a M.S and Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies and Demography from Penn State University.

 

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Lauren Deutsch
Social Science Research Analyst

Lauren Deutsch’s portfolio focuses on supporting the well-being and self-sufficiency of low-income families through projects related to employment and training, career pathways programs, TANF office culture, and family experiences with poverty. Prior to joining OPRE, Ms. Deutsch was the project manager and research analyst for a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) contract to measure and evaluate progress toward USAID’s 2011-2015 Education Strategy Goals. Ms. Deutsch holds an M.P.P. from the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at the George Washington University and a B.A. from the George Washington University.

 

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Victoria Kabak
Social Science Research Analyst
Behavioral Interventions Research, TANF Program and Policy Research, Family Self-Sufficiency, Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency

Victoria Kabak is a research analyst in OPRE. Her portfolio focuses on supporting the well-being and economic self-sufficiency of low-income families and individuals. She has a particular interest in understanding the effectiveness of different approaches to poverty alleviation and in improving the lives of low-income children and youths. Ms. Kabak joined OPRE in 2015 and became a Presidential Management Fellow the following year. Previously, she worked at a nonprofit organization dedicated to child welfare systems reform and at a microfinance institution. Ms. Kabak holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.

 

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Marie Lawrence
Social Science Research Analyst
Employment and Training, TANF Program and Policy Research, Child Support, Behavioral Interventions Research, Refugee Populations

Marie Lawrence’s portfolio focuses on improving family well-being through research and evaluation projects related to employment and training, child support, and the applications of behavioral science to human services. She is particularly interested in addressing racial and ethnic disparities in human services and building evaluation capacity in local programs. Prior to joining OPRE, she was an Emerson National Hunger Fellow and held positions at the National Conference of State Legislatures, New America, and community-based organizations in Arizona and California. She holds a BA from Duke University and an MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School.

 

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Tiffany McCormack
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
TANF Program and Policy Research, Family Self-Sufficiency, Employment and Training, Asset-Building Research, Refugee Populations

Tiffany McCormack’s work focuses on strengthening the economic and social well-being of low-income individuals and families. She oversees a diverse portfolio of research, evaluation, and technical assistance projects focused on building evidence around programs targeting TANF and other low-income and vulnerable populations. She has a particular interest in evidence-based policymaking, program design, and implementation. Previously, Ms. McCormack worked for Boston Public Schools, the City of Sacramento in the Mayor’s Office, and the California State Legislature. Ms. McCormack holds a BA in political science from UCLA and an MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School.

 

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Gabrielle Newell
Social Science Research Analyst
TANF Program and Policy Research, Employment and Training, Case Management, Workforce Development

Gabrielle Newell’s work focuses on TANF, workforce development, and case management. She has a particular interest in innovative practices to support long-term financial stability and career growth. Prior to joining OPRE she provided crisis response and case management services to victims of trafficking with the non-profit Polaris. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies, with a minor in Human Rights, from the University of Chicago, where she was selected for the Truman Scholarship. Gabrielle also has a Masters in Comparative Social Policy from the University of Oxford.

 

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Amelia Popham
Senior Social Scientist Research Analyst
TANF Program and Policy Research, Family Self-Sufficiency, Employment and Training, Health Profession Opportunity Grants Evaluation, Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency

Amelia Popham’s work focuses on the well-being of low-income families. She has a particular interest in the coordination of federal safety net programs and increasing their effectiveness in promoting family self-sufficiency. She is also interested in participatory approaches to research and evaluation and building research capacity in underserved communities, including American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Ms. Popham joined ACF in 2010 as a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF). Prior to joining OPRE, she worked on policy and program monitoring related to Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Tribal TANF Child Welfare Coordination in ACF’s Office of Family Assistance. Prior to that, she held positions at Social Intervention Group, United Way, and the University of Texas’ Center for Social Work Research. Ms. Popham holds a Bachelors in Social Work (BSW) from the University of Texas at Austin and a Masters of Science in Social Work (MSSW) from Columbia University.

 

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Megan Reid
Social Science Research Analyst
Employment, Child Support, Reentry from Incarceration, Healthy Marriage, Fatherhood, Racial and Ethnic Equity

Megan Reid’s work broadly focuses on low-income families’ circumstances, dynamics, and economic well-being. She is particularly interested in understanding relationship formation and dissolution, parenthood and co-parenting, barriers to employment, and criminal justice-involved populations. At OPRE her work focuses on employment interventions, healthy marriage and relationship education programs, responsible fatherhood programs, child support, and family economic stability. Previously, she was a National Poverty Fellow at the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in residence at OPRE. Prior to coming to OPRE, Megan was a Project Director at National Development and Research Institutes in New York City where she directed a study about low-income cohabiting Black stepfamilies. She earned her BA in sociology and English from Rutgers University, and her MA and PhD in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin.

 

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Elaine Sorensen
Senior Advisor, Child Support

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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.

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Lisa Zingman
Social Science Research Analyst

Lisa Zingman’s work focuses on building the research evidence for programs aimed at improving the lives of low-income children, individuals, and families. At OPRE, she supports evaluations of the Health Profession Opportunity Grant Program and OPRE’s biennial Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency. Prior to joining OPRE, she held positions at the HHS Office of Adolescent Health, where she was a Policy Coordinator and special assistant to the director, and Abt Associates, where she worked on large-scale impact evaluations. Ms. Zingman holds a BA from Tufts University, and a MSPH in Health Policy from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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Division of Family Strengthening (DFS)

 

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Maria Woolverton
Division Director

Maria Woolverton is the Director of OPRE’s Division of Family Strengthening, which has primary responsibility for research and evaluation related to strengthening relationships within families, supporting fatherhood, nurturing children through their families, reducing teen pregnancy, and supporting youth in their transition to adulthood. Prior to leading this Division, she was a Senior Social Science Research Analyst and Team Leader for Child Welfare Research in OPRE. In this role, she oversaw a diverse portfolio of research and evaluation projects focused on child welfare and foster care, including the Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS) and evaluations of the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program and the Permanency Innovations Initiative (PII). Ms. Woolverton also managed the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), a nationally-representative descriptive study of children and families served in Head Start, and worked on development and fielding of the first American Indian/Alaska Native Family and Child Experiences Survey (AI/AN FACES). Prior to joining OPRE in 2004, Ms. Woolverton was a Senior Research Associate at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development. Her work there focused on evaluation and improvement of systems for meeting the health and mental health care needs of children in the child welfare system and children with special health care needs and disabilities. Ms. Woolverton holds a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University and did doctoral work in psychology at Stanford University.

 

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Shirley Adelstein
Social Science Research Analyst

Shirley Adelstein’s work focuses on early childhood and family strengthening, including early care and education, work and family, parenting, and promoting healthy relationships. She has a strong interest in research methods, building evaluation capacity, and communicating research to diverse audiences. Prior to joining OPRE, Dr. Adelstein held research positions at Georgetown University, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and the Urban Institute. She holds a B.A. in Social History from New York University and completed her M.P.P. and Ph.D. in Government at Georgetown University.

 

 

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Caryn Blitz
Senior Program Analyst

Caryn Blitz’s portfolio includes topics related to healthy adolescent development and transition to adulthood, including teen pregnancy prevention and youth homelessness, as well as cross-cutting interests in trauma and well-being, prevention and implementation science, and assessment. Before coming to OPRE, she was a Senior Policy Advisor at the Administration on Children, Youth and Families at ACF, where she was responsible for advising the Commissioner and supporting the agency on the effective implementation and evaluation of evidence-based and evidence-informed interventions and related activities -- screening and assessment, capacity building, planning, implementation, and evaluation -- to reduce the impact of trauma and improve the behavioral, emotional, and social well-being of the children, youth, and families served by ACYF. She has over 25 years of experience in research, policy and practice focused on improving the lives of vulnerable children, youth, and families, including as Deputy Director of Evaluation and Research at CADCA’s National Community Anti-Drug Coalition Institute, Research Scientist at University of Washington’s Social Development Research Group, American Psychological Association/AAAS Fellow in the U.S. Senate, and NIAAA Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Alcohol Research Center at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Dr. Blitz holds a B.S. in English and Science from the University of Michigan, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical and Community Psychology from DePaul University.

 

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Tia Brown
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Team Leader for Adolescent Development Research

Tia Brown’s work focuses on teen pregnancy prevention, home visiting, and domestic violence initiatives. She has a keen interest in health equity, positive youth development, and mixed methods research. From 2012-2014, Dr. Brown served as an AAAS Population Association of America Fellow in the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research where she worked on health disparities and fatherhood research. Prior to joining OPRE, she worked on health policy issues affecting women, adolescents, and persons living with HIV/AIDS. Dr. Brown holds a B.S. from Xavier University of Louisiana, an M.P.H. from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and a Ph.D. in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

 

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Selma Caal
Social Science Research Analyst

Selma Caal’s work focuses on youth development, adolescent pregnancy prevention, and parenting across low-income populations. She is interested in understanding how contextual factors affect child development and parenting, creating culturally sensitive measures, and discovering evidence-based practices for programs supporting child and family well-being. Prior to joining OPRE, she was a Research Scientist at Child Trends, where she conducted research and program evaluations pertaining to children and youth, reproductive health behaviors among Latino adolescents, and parenting among immigrants. In addition to her research and evaluation experience, she has worked in applied settings, such as Head Start. Selma holds a B.A. in Psychology from the California State University, Long Beach and a Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology from George Mason University.

 

 

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Nicole Denmark
Senior Social Science Research Analyst

Nicole Denmark’s work at OPRE focuses on home visiting, early care and education, and evaluation capacity building across diverse communities. Nicole is interested in cultural and contextual influences on parenting and on the adaptation, implementation, and effectiveness of services for young children and families. To date, her portfolio at OPRE includes: the Tribal Home Visiting Evaluation Institute (TEI), the Touchpoints for Addressing Substance Use in Home Visiting Project, the Tribal Early Childhood Research Center (TRC), Design Options for Home Visiting Evaluation (DOHVE), and the Study of Coordination of Tribal TANF-Child Welfare Services. 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 in urban and rural communities. 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.

 

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Calonie Gray
Senior Social Science Research Analyst

Calonie Gray's work focuses on adolescent pregnancy prevention and supporting children and families impacted by parental substance abuse. She has keen interests in quantitative methods, adolescent development, substance abuse, and health equity. Prior to joining OPRE, she worked as a research analyst in the U.S. Department of Education Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education where she provided technical leadership on policy, research, and evaluation initiatives. Prior to her federal service, she worked in private, academic, and government settings--both domestic and abroad--conducting applied research and evaluations targeting public health issues, particularly among populations experiencing physical and social vulnerabilities. Dr. Gray holds a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and both a M.S. in Counseling Psychology and Ph.D. in Life-span Developmental Psychology from Florida International University.

 

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Pooja Gupta
Social Science Research Analyst

Pooja Gupta’s work focuses on early childhood and family strengthening, especially on projects related to home visiting, non-custodial parents, and parents and children involved with the child welfare system. She has a particular interest in mixed methods research, using relevant data and evidence to shape and inform programs and policies for youth and families, and communicating research and evidence to a wide variety of audiences. Ms. Gupta joined OPRE as a Presidential Management Fellow. Prior to joining OPRE, she worked on US government-funded international development projects and with organizations to foster social innovation and entrepreneurship. Ms. Gupta holds a BA from the College of William & Mary, and an MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School.

 

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Samantha Illangasekare
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Team Leader for Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Research

Samantha Illangasekare’s work focuses on relationship and family strengthening, and she works primarily on projects related to Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood (HMRF) 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 Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

 

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Kriti M. Jain
Social Science Research Analyst

Kriti Jain’s work at OPRE focuses on healthy marriage, responsible fatherhood, domestic/intimate partner violence, and ongoing research methods training. Prior to joining OPRE, she designed and ran evaluations of multisite social services programs tailored to individuals living with HIV. She was an Evaluation and Research Manager and Research Associate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and also worked as an independent consultant. Kriti is the lead author of an implementation science book called Improving Access to HIV Care: Lessons Learned from Five U.S. Sites (Johns Hopkins University Press, Jan 2016). She holds a B.S. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Doctorate and Master's of Science in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

 

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Nancy Geyelin Margie
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Team Leader for Home Visiting Research

Home Visiting

Nancy Geyelin Margie’s work focuses on parenting and the promotion of healthy child development. She coordinates OPRE’s home visiting research efforts, and oversees the national evaluations examining the implementation and impact of home visiting programs. Before concentrating on home visiting research, she also worked on projects in OPRE related to family engagement in early care and education, Head Start, and child care. Dr. Margie came to OPRE as a Society for Research in Child Development Executive Branch Fellow. Prior to graduate school, she was a research assistant at the National Academies for the report From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development, and at Child Trends working on a variety of early childhood topics. Dr. Margie holds a B.A. from Haverford College and a Ph.D. in Human Development from the University of Maryland.

 

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Aleta Meyer
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Team Leader for Community-Engaged and American Indian and Alaskan Native Research

Evaluation of Implementation and Adaptation of Home Visiting in Tribal Communities, Supplemental Parenting Enhancements to Early Head Start, Research Capacity Building with American Indian and Alaskan Native Communities, Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress, Positive 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.

 

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Kelly Jedd McKenzie
Social Science Research Analyst

Kelly Jedd McKenzie’s work focuses on supporting children and families, including projects related to home visiting, prevention of child maltreatment, and child welfare. With a background in Cognitive Developmental Neuroscience, Dr. McKenzie has particular interest in the impact of trauma and childhood adversity on brain and behavioral development and ways to promote child well-being through family and community strengthening. Prior to joining OPRE, she was a Society for Research in Child Development/American Association for the Advancement of Science (SRCD/AAAS) Policy Fellow in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she led the child trauma portfolio and worked on early childhood policy initiatives. Dr. McKenzie was also a Doris Duke Fellow for the Promotion of Child Well-Being. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Whitman College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Child Psychology from the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota.

 

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Laura Nerenberg
Social Science Research Analyst
Home Visiting, Statistical Methods

Laura Nerenberg is a Social Science Research Analyst at the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, where her work focuses on family strengthening, primarily on projects related to home visiting services. She is particularly interested in parenting, promotion of positive mental health outcomes, and implementation science. Prior to joining OPRE, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan. Dr. Nerenberg holds a B.S. in Psychology from Brown University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Child Psychology from the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. She is also a licensed clinical psychologist with experience working with children and families.

 

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Katie Pahigiannis
Senior Social Science Research Analyst

Katie Pahigiannis’ work focuses on family strengthening and fatherhood research initiatives related to Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood programs. She is interested in understanding the connection between father engagement and child development, applying neuroscience-informed frameworks to family strengthening research and programs, promoting health equity, and translating research findings for dissemination to various audiences. Prior to joining OPRE, she was a policy analyst at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health, where she led planning and evaluation projects on neuroscience research areas including health disparities, prevention, clinical trials, neurodevelopmental disorders, and vascular brain health. She also translated OPRE’s self-regulation and toxic stress reports into early childhood practitioner tip sheets and published a review on peer influences in self-regulation development in early childhood. Dr. Pahigiannis holds a B.S. in biology from the University of Oklahoma, a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Lund University in Sweden and an M.P.H. with a Certificate in Maternal and Child Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

 

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Division of Data and Improvement (DDI)

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Bethanne Barnes

Division Director

 

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Brett Brown
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
Social Indicators, Youth Development, Administrative and Survey Data

Dr. Brett Brown is a Senior Research Analyst for the Division on Data and Improvement, where he focuses on making administrative data better, more accessible, and more useful to support program research and evaluation. From 2012 to 2016 he was Director of the Office of Data, Analysis, Research and Evaluation (ODARE), Administration on Children, Youth and Families, ACF/DHHS. Prior to joining ACYF in 2012, he was Vice President for Child and Family Studies at Walter R. McDonald & Associates, Inc. (WRMA), and prior to that the Director for Social Indicators Research at Child Trends, a non-partisan, non-profit research firm. Dr. Brown is a sociologist with a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. Research interests include youth development and the transition to adulthood, and indicators of child well-being.

 

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Valeria Butler
Senior Social Science Research Analyst

Valeria Butler is a Senior Social Science Research Analyst for the Division of Data and Improvement. Her work focuses on the analysis of data to inform the quality, effectiveness, and performance of Administration for Children and Families (ACF) human services programs as well as working to improve the quality of program data and improve access to data for secondary analysis. She has a particular interest in data visualization and increasing the use of open data while balancing privacy and statistical disclosure concerns. She promotes agile approaches to work and is a Certified ScrumMaster®. Prior to joining OPRE, she was the lead statistician for the Office of Data Analysis, Research and Evaluation in ACYF and a member of the Children’s Bureau Data Team since 2005. She was the federal project officer of the National Archive of Child Abuse and Neglect, which facilitates secondary research on survey and research data collected from program evaluation studies, health and human services programs, and child and family welfare services for ACF populations. She is also an expert on the statistical analysis and data collection methods used with foster care, adoption, and child maltreatment data derived from ACF’s two key child welfare data systems, Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System and the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. Ms. Butler holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from James Madison University and a Master of Arts in Sociology from George Mason University, with a focus on social science research.

 

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Christi Dant
State Systems Coordinator

Christi Dant is the State Systems Coordinator for HHS in the Division of Data & Improvement. Her primary responsibility is to coordinate responses to requests from states through the Advance Planning Document submission process for federal funds for IT systems that support Medicaid, foster care, and child support enforcement. She also supports NIEM and other interoperability and data exchange efforts across agencies and domains.

Prior to joining OPRE, Christi held numerous positions in the public sector. Christi joined federal service as a Presidential Management Fellow at the Social Security Administration as an Executive Analyst for the Commissioner and Special Assistant to the Principal Deputy Commissioner. She came to HHS initially with the Health Resources & Services Administration as a program manager for the Healthy Community Access Program. She joined the Federal Emergency Management Agency as an executive officer and later helped to establish the first National Emergency Operations Center. Christi then spent five years in the private sector in her own consulting practice where she worked extensively with associations, CDC, HRSA, and HHS/OS. Christi rejoined federal service in 2010 at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the Office of e-Health Standards and Services and moved to the HHS/OS Office of the Chief Information Officer to support domain IT governance across HHS. Christi joined ACF in December of 2015 to advance interoperability and data exchanges in ways that better support the people we serve while simultaneously improving both efficacy and efficiency of HHS programs.

Christi earned a Masters in Public Management from East Tennessee State University and a BA in Organizational Psychology from Prescott College in Prescott, AZ.

 

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Nicole Deterding

Senior Social Science Research Analyst

Nicole Deterding is a mixed-methods social scientist, with experience conducting and overseeing program evaluations, experimental field studies, survey design and sampling, quantitative modeling, and large-scale in-depth interview studies. At OPRE, her work includes efforts to improve the quality, availability, and use of data to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of human services programs. Prior to joining DDI as a federal employee, Nicole served as a National Poverty Center Postdoctoral fellow in DEI. Her OPRE portfolio has included initiatives to improve administrative data and evidence use in the TANF program and the Office of Refugee Resettlement; the PACE Career Pathways evaluation; oversight of the Family Self-Sufficiency Research Consortium; and methodology consultation on several ongoing studies across divisions. She holds a BA in Sociology from Wellesley College, an MA in Education Policy Studies from The George Washington University, and a Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Policy from Harvard University.

 

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Elizabeth Booker Houston
Social Science Research Analyst
Privacy Analyst

Elizabeth Booker Houston’s work focuses on data privacy and interoperability. She has a particular interest in privacy and security law and how it affects the acquisition and sharing of administrative data. Prior to joining OPRE, she was a Presidential Management Fellow and a Regulatory Counsel at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) where she worked on the user fee policy team in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. She has also worked in the Public Health Law Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. Elizabeth holds a BA in Psychology from Christian Brothers University, and Juris Doctor and Master of Public Health degrees from the University of Memphis.

 

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Thomas Miller
Program Director
Public Assistance Reporting Information System (PARIS)

Tom Miller is the Program Director administering the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF) Public Assistance Reporting Information System (PARIS) Project. In this role, he serves as the central point of contact with the PARIS Board of Directors, other federal agencies, and states for this computer matching process. He has also held positions with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and ACF’s Office of Child Support Enforcement. Prior to joining the federal government in 2004, he was a consultant for ten years assisting several states with implementing their statewide automated child support enforcement and child welfare systems. He served in the Air Force as a special operations navigator and as a navigator flight instructor at the Department of Defense Undergraduate Navigator Flight Training School. Tom received a BS in Health Education from Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville and an MS in Criminal Justice from California State University, Sacramento.

 

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Christopher Traver
Senior Advisor for Information Sharing
Team Leader for Interoperability Initiatives

Chris Traver serves as a Senior Advisor within OPRE’s Division of Data and Improvement (DDI). The division encompasses a number of unique initiatives with the common goal of improving the sharing and analysis of data to promote positive outcomes for the children, adults, and families that rely on ACF supported programs. Chris leads an agency-wide interoperability initiative to build integrated human services systems that are capable of robust data sharing, support increased collaboration, and facilitate harmonized policies and processes. Other goals include expanding the adoption of NIEM, the National Information Exchange Model, and fostering multi-disciplinary information exchange with health, justice, education, and other stakeholders to enable coordinated service delivery and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of human services programs. Chris received his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from Duke University in Durham, NC.

 

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

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Sarah Blankenship
Division of Child and Family Development

Sarah Blankenship is a first year American Association for the Advancement of Science/Society for Research in Child Development (AAAS/SRCD) Executive Branch Policy Fellow at OPRE. Dr. Blankenship is a developmental cognitive neuroscientist with a particular interest in how early experiences, such as childhood poverty or exposure to parental mental illness, shape long-term outcomes. Her work at OPRE currently focuses on early care and education projects in the Head Start and Child Care portfolios. Prior to joining OPRE, she completed the Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellowship with the Board on Children, Youth, and Families at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and a post-doc with the University of Maryland’s Center for Early Childhood Education and Intervention. Dr. Blankenship holds a B.S. in Psychology and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science from the University of Maryland, College Park.

 

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Erin Cannon
Division of Child and Family Development

Erin N. Cannon is a Society for Research in Child Development/American Association for the Advancement of Science (SRCD/AAAS) Policy Fellow at OPRE where she focuses on early care and education, primarily in Child Care and the Head Start and Early Head Start programs. She has particular interest in social and cognitive development in infants and toddlers, quality of early care, and discovering how programs can mitigate effects of early adversity. Prior to joining OPRE, she was a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she led studies on behavioral and neural correlates of infant social cognition, oversaw program evaluations of early childhood programs, and led research projects investigating risk and protective factors of low-income infants and children. Dr. Cannon holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Irvine, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

 

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Emily C. Ross
Division of Child and Family Development

Emily C. Ross, PhD, is an American Association for the Advancement of Science / Society for Research in Child Development (AAAS/SRCD) Policy Fellow at OPRE during the 2018-2019 academic year. Dr. Ross is a developmental psychologist with particular interest in early care and education (ECE) access and quality, the implementation and evaluation of anti-poverty programs that simultaneously support parents and their young children, improving the coordination and delivery of social services to families, and the communication of research to non-researcher audiences. Prior to joining OPRE, she was a Graduate Research Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University, where she contributed to mixed-method data collection and analyses for an evaluation of an education and workforce training program for parents of Head Start children. Dr. Ross holds a BSc in Psychology from McGill University and a MA and PhD in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University.

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

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Melody Harvey
Division of Economic Independence

Melody Harvey is a National Poverty Fellow at OPRE during the 2018-2019 academic year. Her research interests include consumer policy, social policy, and higher education policy as they affect economically vulnerable Americans. Her work at OPRE focuses on family economic stability and research methodology. Prior to joining OPRE, she was an assistant policy researcher at RAND Corporation, where she led quantitative analyses on a program evaluation of a permanent supportive housing program and worked on projects concerning financial decision-making, working conditions, and social programs. Dr. Harvey holds a B.A. in economics from Reed College, an M.P.P. from Pepperdine University, and a Ph.D. in policy analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

 

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Kathleen Moore
Division of Data and Improvement/Division of Economic Independence

Kathleen Moore is a National Poverty Fellow at OPRE during the 2017-2018 academic year. Her research interests include housing policy, homelessness policy, and social policy. She earned an M.P.A. from the University of Utah in 2011 and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Management in 2017 from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington.

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Nicol Valdez
University of Wisconsin National Poverty Center Fellow

 

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Business Strategies Consultants Staff (BSC)

 

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Ciara Bridges
Research Assistant
Division of Data and Improvement

Ciara Bridges is a Research Assistant with Business Strategy Consultants providing research support to OPRE. She has a particular interest in work that studies disparities in access to resources based on income, ethnicity, etc. Prior to joining OPRE, she held positions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Survey Center. As a Project Director, she managed social science and health-based surveys throughout the state of Wisconsin and nationwide. Ms. Bridges holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied Psychology and Sociology with a concentration in conducting research projects.

 

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Elaine Carpenter
Research Assistant
Division of Economic Independence

Elaine Carpenter is a Research Assistant with Business Strategy Consultants, providing research support to OPRE. Her work at OPRE focuses on assisting a wide range of projects related to welfare, employment, and family self-sufficiency, in particular the Career Pathways Programs. She is especially interested in the field of behavioral science as well as TANF and the labor market. Prior to joining OPRE, she was a research program coordinator at the Poverty and Inequality Research Lab at Johns Hopkins University. Ms. Carpenter holds a B.A. in Public Health Studies from Johns Hopkins University.

 

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Dionna C. Cheatham
Research Assistant
Division of Family Strengthening

Dionna Cheatham is a Research Assistant with Business Strategy Consultants providing research and evaluation support to OPRE. Her work at OPRE spans across the Division of Family Strengthening, with work on multiple projects including teen pregnancy prevention, healthy marriage, responsible fatherhood, family violence, and home visiting. Prior to joining OPRE, she was the Research and Policy Assistant at The Washington Center for Equitable Growth, as well as a researcher at Kent County Health Department working on “The How to Stop Pregnant Women from Smoking Marijuana initiative.” Ms. Cheatham holds a Bachelor’s degree in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies; Public, Nonprofit & Health Administration from Grand Valley State University.

 

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Tracy Carter Clopet
Social Science Research Analyst
Division of Child and Family Development

Tracy Carter Clopet is a Social Science Research Analyst with Business Strategy Consultants. Her work at OPRE focuses on early care and education (ECE), particularly in the area of quality improvement efforts in ECE programs for low-income children and families. Dr. Carter Clopet is also the lead consultant for the Child Care and Early Education Policy Research Consortium (CCEEPRC), which brings together researchers, policymakers, program administrators, and other partners interested in strengthening the bridges between research and policies shaping early care and education programs and systems throughout the country. Prior to her current role, she was a Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Executive Branch Policy Fellow in the Office of Child Care, and a Head Start Graduate Student Research Scholar. Dr. Carter Clopet holds a B.S. in psychology and German and a Ph.D. in developmental psychology, all from the University of Miami.

 

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Clare DiSalvo
Social Science Research Analyst

Clare DiSalvo is a Social Science Research Analyst with Business Strategy Consultants providing research support to OPRE. Her work aims to build rigorous evidence to reduce poverty, promote self-sufficiency, and improve the well-being of low-income families. Ms. DiSalvo is particularly interested in interventions designed to improve employment outcomes for individuals struggling with substance use and/or mental health disorders. She first came to OPRE in 2010 as a Presidential Management Fellow. Prior to attending graduate school and joining OPRE, she worked as a community organizer. Ms. DiSalvo holds a BA from Yale University and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota.

 

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Justin Falcone
Data Visualization and Media Manager

Justin Falcone is a Data Visualization and Media Manager with Business Strategy Consultants, providing data visualization and analytics support to OPRE. Justin manages OPRE’s data visualization and creative direction, and works to improve the way research is visualized and disseminated to stakeholders and the public via digital platforms and multimedia experiences. He is particularly interested in taking a data driven approach to strategic research dissemination. Prior to joining OPRE, Justin participated in NSF and NASA funded GIS research in California and Oman, and worked as a data visualization consultant for non-profit and research organizations. He holds a BA from Johns Hopkins University, where he was named a Woodrow Wilson and Fulbright Research Fellow and selected as a Truman Scholar, and an MSc from the University of Oxford.

 

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Deric Joyner
Senior Dissemination Strategist

Deric Joyner is a Senior Dissemination Strategist 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 as project manager for multiple organizational efforts. Mr. Joyner holds a BA from Morehouse College, and an MA in Public Administration from American University.

 

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Kathleen McCoy

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

Kathleen McCoy is a Social Science Research Analyst with Business Strategy Consultants. 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.

 

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Katherine McKinney
Management Analyst

Katherine McKinney is a management analyst with Business Strategy Consultants providing analysis of managerial processes at OPRE. Her work at OPRE focuses on determining the effectiveness of administrative procedures and creating systems to ensure that related actions are completed with quality, in a timely manner, and comply with rules and regulations. Prior to joining OPRE, Ms. McKinney worked for the State of Washington in a variety of management analyst and quality assurance roles for the Department of Social and Health Services, the Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises, and the Economic Services Administration. Ms. McKinney holds a BA in Political Science from James Madison University and an MPA, with a certificate in Nonprofit Administration, from the University of Central Florida.

 

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Allison Walker
Research Assistant
Division of Child and Family Development

Allison Walker is a Research Assistant with Business Strategy Consultants providing research and administrative support to OPRE. Her work at OPRE focuses on early care and education, as well as the American Indian/Alaskan Native Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (AI/AN FACES). Prior to joining OPRE, she was a Public Policy Fellow at the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women and a Legal Support Clerk at the law firm Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP. Ms. Walker holds a BA in Psychology from Grinnell College.

 

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Camille Wilson
Special Assistant
Office of the Director

Camille Wilson is a Management Analyst with Business Strategy Consultants, serving as a Special Assistant to the Office of the Director at OPRE. Her work at OPRE includes improving efficiency within the Office of the Director, building cross-divisional relationships, and managing office-wide special projects. Prior to joining OPRE, Camille supported child care policy and evaluation efforts in Washington State, taught pre-K, and developed growth strategies for community-based programs serving vulnerable children and families. She holds a BA in Psychology and Individual and Family Development from Seattle Pacific University, with a minor in Sociology. Camille also holds an MPA from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance and an MSW from the University of Washington.

 

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Catherine Workmeister
Budget Analyst

Catherine Workmeister is a Budget Analyst with Business Strategy Consultants providing financial and budget management support to OPRE. Prior to working at OPRE, Catherine worked in accounting at an international manufacturing company. She holds a B.A. in Business Administration with a minor in Political Science from Hood College.

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LSI/Tetrus Corporation Staff

Joe Warren Photo Joseph Warren
Senior Analyst
Division of Data and Improvement

 

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Last Reviewed: September 11, 2019