Staff and Organization
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.
Senior Social Science Research Analyst
ACF Administrative Data, Child Welfare Data, Data Analytics and Visualization, Data Governance and Privacy, Data Archiving, Interoperability, Research Design and Methodology
Valeria Butler is a Senior Social Science Research Analyst for the Division of Data and Improvement in the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE), within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). She works to improve the quality of program data and improve access to data for secondary analysis. 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. Prior to that, she was a research analyst for a professional healthcare nonprofit. She has expertise in 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 (AFCARS) and the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS). Additional areas of expertise include leveraging administrative data to further human services research, data governance, data visualization, agile project management, and human centered design. Ms. Butler holds a Master of Arts in Sociology from George Mason University with a focus on social science research.
Christi Dant is the State Systems Coordinator for HHS in the Division of Data & Improvement. Her primary responsibility is to coordinate responses to states’ requests through the Advance Planning Document submission process for federal funds for IT systems that support Medicaid, child welfare, and/or child support enforcement. Prior to joining OPRE, Christi held numerous positions in the public sector in local, state, and federal government. 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 public health 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. Christi earned a Master’s in Public Management from East Tennessee State University and a BA in Organizational Psychology from Prescott College in Prescott, AZ.
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.
Aaron Goldstein is a privacy professional with over 10 years’ experience in the field. He works to assess and enhance the privacy implications of OPRE’s internal activities, and develop public-facing tools on how to share data while preserving privacy. Before joining OPRE, he helped to develop and manage privacy programs within a county department of human services, a museum complex, and multiple federal agencies. Aaron earned a B.A. in Government and History from The University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. from The University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
Alicia Gumbs is a Management and Program Analyst for the Division of Data and Improvement in the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation. At OPRE, her work includes project management and lead for the PARIS portfolio. Alicia comes to us from USDA and brings with her a wealth of experience in payment integrity and financial controls. Alicia began working in the USDA OCFO writing policy, guidance and administrative controls for distributed USDA federal funds. This work led her to the OCFO Payment Integrity team to provide oversight on financial risk analysis, assessments, recoveries, authorities and reporting for the A-123 (appendix C). She was also responsible for preparing final documentation for USDA Agency Financial Report and submission of the annual financial report metrics to the Office of Management and Budget. She served as agency POC for the CAP-9 states initiative, which included representatives from the OMB, Treasury, GSA as well as other federal agencies. Notably at USDA, Alicia implemented the Do Not Pay initiative for all program offices to verify eligibility of benefits, vendors, grantee, and loan recipients that have applied for federal payments. As the Administrative Officer and project manager of the Do Not Pay initiative, USDA strategically targeted its programs' root causes for improper payments and improved the accuracy of payments associated with federal funding.
Philip Lee is a Management Analyst for the Division of Data and Improvement in the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE), within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). His work includes efforts to improve the quality, usefulness, interoperability, and availability of data to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of human services programs. Prior to joining OPRE, he was supporting the Department of the Navy (DON) Chief Data Officer in establishing data governance in the DON. Additional areas of expertise include data governance, crowdsourcing, project management, information technology, and information sharing. Philip holds a B.S. in Operations Research & Industrial Engineering from Cornell University and a M.S. in Government Analytics from Johns Hopkins University.
Mr. Salyards’ work focuses on Health Information Technology. Prior to joining OPRE, he held Special Expert and Information Management Specialist positions at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and in the private sector as an Executive Consultant, Chief Architect, and Chief Scientist, where he led projects implementing secure health information systems. He created and facilitated creating software applications that transcend approaches to Patient Centered Care based on international data standards. He participated in the ONC Data Segmentation for Privacy (DS4P) project, and facilitated the HL7 DS4P Normative standard ballot, which facilitated the development of Consent2Share, an open source application based on the HL7 DS4P normative standard, which supports 42 CFR Part II and HIPAA privacy and security regulations. He led the team that created and implemented the data collection and reporting system for collecting discretionary grant information necessary to meet the terms of the grant. Mr. Salyards holds a BS from Towson University.
Joshua Williams is the Project Officer administering the Public Assistance Reporting Information System (PARIS) for HHS. In this role he serves as the central point of contact for the PARIS program, including by helping to coordinate the PARIS Board of Directors, being a liaison with Federal and State partners regarding PARIS-related data agreements and issues, and helping to establish the future direction of the program. Dr. Williams also works on data policy-related issues and emerging technology for ACF/OPRE and the HHS Assistant Secretary for the Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), Office of Science and Data Policy. Dr. Williams entered federal service through the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program and has a background in data and international policy. He holds a BA in International Relations from Boston University, a Masters in International Public Affairs from the University of Wisconsin — Madison, and a Doctorate in International Studies from the University of Washington.