CAP

Art of Social Change: Speaker Biographies
Fall 2007

Below are the biographies for CAP's "Art of Social Change: Child Welfare, Education, and Juvenile Justice" Fall 2007 speakers. Click on the relevant speaker's name to link to his/her biography.

Elizabeth Bartholet is the Morris Wasserstein Public Interest Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Child Advocacy Program (CAP) at Harvard Law School, where she teaches civil rights and family law, specializing in child welfare, adoption and reproductive technology. Before joining the Harvard Faculty, she was engaged in civil rights and public interest work, first with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and later as founder and director of the Legal Action Center, a non-profit organization in New York City focused on criminal justice and substance abuse issues.

Professor John E.B. Myers is an expert on child abuse. He has traveled throughout the United States and abroad, making more than 200 presentations to judges, attorneys, police, doctors, and mental health professionals. Professor Myers is the author or editor of eight books and more than a hundred articles on child abuse. His writing has been cited by more than 150 courts, including the United States Supreme Court and the California Supreme Court. Prior to coming to McGeorge, Professor Myers practiced law in Utah, where he represented the poor and the disabled.


Dr. Charles A. Nelson is Professor of Pediatrics and Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School; he is also adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Education and in the School of Public Health at Harvard University. He holds the Richard David Scott Chair of Pediatric Developmental Medicine Research at Children's Hospital Boston, and serves as Director of Research in the Developmental Medicine Center, Children's Hospital Boston. Dr. Nelson received an honors degree in Psychology from McGill University, masters degrees in both Educational Psychology and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin, and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. Supported by a National Research Service Award from the NIH, Dr. Nelson conducted a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Minnesota with the late Philip Salapatek; he then accepted his first faculty position at Purdue University. In 1986 he returned to Minnesota, where he remained until 2005, when he joined the Harvard faculty. Dr. Nelson has received numerous honors and awards. For example, during his time at Minnesota he was awarded three different endowed professorships, and is currently the Richard David Scott Professor at Harvard. He is a fellow in the American Psychological Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has been elected as an honorary fellow in the Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences. He has also served as a core member of one MacArthur Foundation research network and has chaired another ý Early Experience and Brain Development. Dr. Nelson is frequently cited in the print and TV media on topics as diverse as early brain development, the development of face perception, memory development, and the effects of early psychosocial deprivation on development. He has also consulted with policy makers, including a recent address to congress at the invitation of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He has published over 130 peer reviewed journal articles, nearly 50 book chapters, has edited 8 books and written 2 books. Dr. Nelson is recognized internationally as a leader in the field of developmental cognitive neuroscience, where he has achieved numerous breakthroughs in broadening scientific understanding of brain and behavioral development during infancy and childhood. Over the last two decades, Dr. Nelson has focused his research efforts on the development and neural bases of memory; recognition and processing of objects, faces, and emotion; and neural plasticity. He has a particular interest, dating back to his time at McGill, in how early experience influences the course of development, and in this context has studied both typically developing children and children at risk for neurodevelopmental disorders.

Jacqueline Bhabha is the Jeremiah Smith Jr. Lecturer in Law at Harvard Law School, the Executive Director of the Harvard University Committee on Human Rights Studies, and an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Kennedy School. From 1997 to 2001 she directed the Human Rights Program at the University of Chicago. Prior to 1997, she was a practicing human rights lawyer in London and at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. She received a first class honors degree and an MSc from Oxford University and a JD from the College of Law in London. She has recently authored three reports entitled Seeking Asylum Alone about unaccompanied child asylum seekers. Her writings on issues of migration and asylum in Europe and the United States include a coauthored book, Women's Movement: Women Under Immigration, Nationality and Refugee Law, an edited volume, Asylum Law And Practice in Europe and North America, and many articles, including Internationalist Gatekeepers? The Tension Between Asylum Advocacy and Human Rights and The Citizenship Deficit: On Being a Citizen Child. She is currently working on issues of child migration, smuggling and trafficking, and citizenship.

Brian Powell is Professor in the Department of Sociology at Indiana University. Professor Powell's research interests have focused on family sociology, sociology of education, gender, and social psychology. With grants from the National Science Foundation, American Education Research Association, and the Spencer Foundation, Professor Powell is examining how structural and compositional features of the family (e.g., parental age, one vs. two-parent households, inter-racial composition, adoptive vs. biological parents) influence parental social, intellectual and economic investments in children. He also was the director of the national "Constructing the Family" surveys of 2003 and 2006. Professor Powell currently is working on a series of projects that explore Americans' views regarding the family (e.g., views regarding same-sex couples, the relative influence of environment and genetics in shaping children's traits, and gender and custody). Among these projects is a book tentatively titled, Family Counts: How Americans Define Family. Recent publications have examined: * similarities and differences in the experiences of children who live with their same-sex parent and of their peers who live with an opposite sex parent (American Sociological Review, 1997) *factors shaping children's perceptions and evaluations of parental roles (Social Psychology Quarterly 1997) * the applicability of recent claims about the effects of birth order on innovative thinking in the contemporary United States (American Sociological Review, 1999) *the extent to which sociobiological explanations add to or detract from sociological understandings of parental investments (American Journal of Sociology, 1999) *challenges that social scientists face when studying "atypical" families (Journal of Marriage and Family, 2005) *how parental age is linked to the conferral of advantages and disadvantages to children (Social Forces, 2006) *whether biracial families differ from monoracial families in their investments in their children (American Journal of Sociology, 2007) *the extent to which parental biological ties are (or are not) critical to childrenýs wellbeing (American Sociological Review, 2007) *the relative influence of schools and families on children's obesity (American Journal of Public Health, 2007).

Margaret Blood is the Founder and President of Strategies for Children, Inc., a non-profit public policy and advocacy organization based in Boston. She is presently spearheading the Early Education for All Campaign, an initiative of Strategies for Children. The goal of this statewide Campaign is to make high-quality early childhood education available to all young children in Massachusetts. Margaret previously led the United Way of Massachusetts Bay's award winning Success By 6 initiative. Under her leadership, key business and civic leaders became advocates for children and several public policy initiatives were enacted to improve the well being of young children. These included making health insurance universally available to children and enacting the Invest in Children license plate to fund improvements in early education and care programs. Prior to Success By 6, Margaret served as the Director of Community Programs for the Department of Pediatrics at Boston City Hospital and Boston University School of Medicine. She also directed a groundbreaking national study, State Legislative Leaders: Keys to Effective Legislation for Children and Families, which examined the attitudes and opinions of state legislative leaders regarding children and families. Among the findings of this highly acclaimed study was the need to involve business leaders as legislative advocates for children and families in their states. Fluent in Spanish, Margaret began her career as a community organizer in inner city Boston where she created an after school program and founded the Mission Possible summer program. She went on to work in the Massachusetts legislature for 10 years, first as a legislative aide, and then as founding Executive Director of the Massachusetts Legislative Children's Caucus. Margaret holds a Master in Public Administration degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and has a Bachelor's degree in Spanish and business from Skidmore College. She is particularly passionate about Guatemala where she serves as a volunteer teacher at a school for child workers.

 

James Edward Ryan is the Academic Associate Dean, the William L. Matheson & Robert M. Morgenthau Distinguished Professor of Law, and the Joseph C. Carter, Jr., Research Professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. He joined the faculty in 1998, after completing a two-year Gibbons Fellowship in Public Interest and Constitutional Law. He teaches constitutional law, land use law, law and education, local government law, torts, and seminars on such topics as legal scholarship, the Supreme Court, and environmental justice. His scholarship focuses primarily on law and educational opportunity, and he has authored or co-authored articles on school finance, school desegregation, school choice, school governance, the No Child Left Behind Act, and the political history of the Establishment Clause, which have appeared in the Yale, University of Michigan, Virginia, and New York University law reviews.

In 2002-03, Ryan was a visiting professor at the Yale Law School. He was named the William L. Matheson and Robert M. Morgenthau Distinguished Professor in 2004.

Ryan attended the Law School, during which time he served on the managing board of the Virginia Law Review, was a volunteer for the Legal Assistance Society's Migrant Farm Workers Project, and was a founding member of Students United to Promote Racial Awareness. His awards include the Law School Alumni Award for Academic Excellence, the Traynor Award, the Thomas Marshall Miller Prize, and the Hardy Cross Dillard Scholarship. He also was elected to the Order of the Coif, and the ODK and Raven honor societies. After graduating in 1992, Ryan clerked for the Honorable J. Clifford Wallace, Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He then clerked for the Honorable William H. Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States.

 Dr. Nancy K. Young is the Director of Children and Family Futures, a California-based research and policy institute whose purpose is to improve outcomes for children and families affected by substance use disorders. Dr. Young also serves as the Director of the federally-funded National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare, which provides technical assistance to states in support of their efforts to enhance cross-system collaboration for the benefit of affected families, and develops and disseminates information on advances in policy and practice in this field. Dr. Young has authored many policy analyses and evaluation reports on substance abuse, welfare, and child welfare for organizations such as the Child Welfare League of America, the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. She has worked as a consultant to many states and regional offices on substance abuse prevention and treatment issues affecting families. Prior to her current position with Children and Family Futures, Dr. Young served as research consultant to the Directorate of the State of California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs. Her work included development of state outcome monitoring systems. Dr. Young holds a Ph.D. and masters degree from the University of Southern California, School of Social Work. She was the recipient of a pre-doctoral fellowship with the National Institute on Drug Abuse which focused on public policy and research issues that affect the children of substance abusers.
Richard P. Barth, BA, MSW, PHD is Dean, School of Social Work, University of Maryland. He has served as the Frank A. Daniels Distinguished Professor at the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was previously the Hutto Patterson Professor, School of Social Welfare, University of California at Berkeley. His 10 books (all co-authored) include Social and Cognitive Treatment of Children and Adolescents, From Child Abuse to Permanency Planning: Pathways Through Child Welfare Services, The Tender Years: Toward Developmentally-Sensitive Child Welfare Services, The Child Welfare Challenge, and Beyond Common Sense: Child Welfare, Child-Well-Being, and the Evidence for Policy Reform. He has also authored more than 160 book chapters and articles. He was the 1986 winner of the Frank Breul Prize for Excellence in Child Welfare Scholarship from the University of Chicago, a Fulbright Scholar in 1990, the 1998 recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Research from the National Association of Social Workers, the 2005 winner of the Flynn Prize for Research, and the 2007 winner of the Peter Forsythe Award from the American Public Human Services Association. He has directed more than 40 studies and, most recently, served as Co-Principal Investigator of the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being, the first national study of child welfare services in the US. He has served as a lecturer and consultant to the Swedish Board of Health and Social Services; the U.S. Children's Bureau; the states of California, Washington, North Carolina, Connecticut, Minnesota; and many universities. He has testified before Congressional and state government sub-committees.
John King is the Managing Director of the Excellence and Preparatory Networks of Uncommon Schools, a non-profit charter management organization. Mr. King is a Co-Founder and former Co-Director for Curriculum & Instruction of Roxbury Preparatory Charter School, a nationally recognized urban college preparatory public school that closed the Massachusetts racial achievement gap and was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as one of eight top charter schools in the country. Prior to co-founding Roxbury Prep, Mr. King taught high school history at City on a Hill Charter School in Boston and Saint John's School in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Mr. King earned a B.A. in Government from Harvard University, an M.A. in the Teaching of Social Studies from Columbia University Teachers College, and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Mr. King is currently pursuing a doctorate in Education Administration at Teachers College.
Richard Rothstein is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute, and an adjunct lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. From 1999 to 2002 he was the national education columnist of The New York Times. He is the author of Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap (Teachers College Press 2004). He is also the author of The Way We Were? Myths and Realities of America's Student Achievement (1998). Other recent books include The Charter School Dust-Up: Examining the Evidence on Enrollment and Achievement (co-authored in 2005); and All Else Equal. Are Public and Private Schools Different? (co-authored in 2003). Rothstein is a board member of the American Education Finance Association, and lectures widely about education policy issues.
On April 14, 2005, Jane E. Tewksbury was named as the Commissioner of the Department of Youth Services. During her tenure, Commissioner Tewksbury has initiated reform efforts in several areas of the agency's operation. One of her primary goals is to reform the pre-trial detention system to create a multi-tiered system of detention alternatives and diversion programs with a range of security levels and program services that will better serve the needs of court-involved youth. It is hoped that this effort will result in the elimination of secure detention; minimize failures to appear and the incidence of delinquent behavior; re-direct public finances to successful reform strategies; and improve conditions in DYS secure detention facilities. Other reform efforts have been undertaken to improve the quality of services for youth in DYS care. Commissioner Tewksbury directed an effort to re-align the continuum of services for females so that young women held on bail are served closer to their home communities; a more comprehensive system of assessing newly committed females is in place; and young women in the community are receiving gender-specific services in settings that are appropriate to their needs. The Department will undertake a similar effort to ensure that the continuum of services for young men is meeting their needs. Under the direction of Commissioner Tewksbury, the agency began reforming its service delivery plan for youth in the community. DYS issued a new Casework Reference Guide, which calls for a 90, 60 and 30-day review of all clients prior to discharge from secure programs. This pre-release review allows for a more careful process for both youth and caseworkers. Other reforms are planned for the future. Finally, Commissioner Tewksbury has begun a Workforce Development Initiative in order to attract and retain professionals to work with DYS youth. The goal is to create a juvenile justice career path by providing comprehensive professional development opportunities and other incentive programs. Commissioner Tewksbury has also continued the efforts begun in a previous administration to enhance the clinical and educational programming for youth in DYS care. The Department now requires licensed mental health and educational professionals to work in DYS programs. Commissioner Tewksbury has served in a variety of human service and criminal justice-related positions throughout her legal career including service as an Assistant Attorney General and an Assistant District Attorney. Selected in 1993 as a Fellow in the Children and Family Fellowship of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Commissioner Tewksbury was deployed to the Arkansas Department of Juvenile Justice and later to the Maryland Subcabinet on Children, Youth and Families, to work on state level systems reform efforts affecting disadvantaged children and families. Commissioner Tewksbury served as the Legal Counsel to the Attorney General and as the General Counsel for a $70 million dollar private provider before becoming the Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Public Safety in 2003. As Commissioner, Tewksbury also sits on the Board of Directors of the Children's Trust Fund which leads statewide efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect by supporting parents and strengthening families. Commissioner Tewksbury is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School and Radcliffe College at Harvard University.
MaryLee Allen is the Director of the Child Welfare and Mental Health Division at the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF). CDF’s Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. CDF provides a strong, effective voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby, or speak for themselves. It pays particular attention to the needs of poor and minority children and those with disabilities. CDF educates the nation about the needs of children and encourages preventive investments before they get sick, into trouble, drop out of school, or suffer family breakdown. CDF began in 1973 and is a private, nonprofit organization supported by foundation and corporate grants and individual donations. CDF has never taken government funds.

At the Children’s Defense Fund, Ms. Allen is responsible for defining and carrying out CDF’s agenda to keep children safe in nurturing families and communities. Her work involves a range of activities designed to improve policies and practices to better support families to prevent problems from occurring and family crises from intensifying and to promote permanent families for children. Ms. Allen has played a leadership role in the development, passage, and implementation of major child welfare and children’s mental health reforms over the past two decades. She co-chairs, with the Child Welfare League of America a coalition of national child welfare and mental health organizations and works regularly with advocates and service providers across the country. She testifies frequently before Congress. Ms. Allen is the author of many articles and publications, including Helping Children by Strengthening Families: A Look at Family Support Programs, Healing the Whole Family: A Look at Family Care Programs, Healthy Ties: Ensuring Health Coverage for Children Raised by Grandparents and Other Relatives: A Look at Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment in the States, Expanding Permanency Options for Children: A Guide to Subsidized Guardianship Programs, and Kinship Care Resource Kit for Community and Faith-Based Organizations. Ms. Allen also served on the Advisory Committee for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges’ publication, Effective Intervention in Domestic Violence & Child Maltreatment Cases: Guidelines for Policy and Practice and the National Council’s Greenbook Policy Advisory Committee.
Dai Ellis serves as Director of the Drug Access Team at the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative, where he leads the Foundation's work on reducing the prices and expanding the availability of HIV/AIDS and malaria drugs. He is also a co-founder of Orphans of Rwanda, a nonprofit organization that cultivates future leaders in Rwanda by providing university scholarships and career development support to orphans and other vulnerable youth. Prior to his work at the Clinton Foundation, Dai worked at McKinsey and Company for several years before joining the Center for Global Health and Economic Development at Columbia University under Dr. Jeffrey Sachs. His work at Columbia took him to Rwanda, where he worked as the advisor to the Director of the National AIDS Commission and helped to launch a national HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment program. Dai is a graduate of Yale Law School.
Medical anthropologist and physician Paul Farmer is a founding director of Partners In Health, an international charity organization that provides direct health care services and undertakes research and advocacy activities on behalf of those who are sick and living in poverty. Dr. Farmer's work draws primarily on active clinical practice (he is an attending physician in infectious diseases and chief of the Division of Social Medicine and Health Inequalities at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in Boston, and medical director of a charity hospital, the Clinique Bon Sauveur, in rural Haiti) and focuses on diseases that disproportionately afflict the poor. Along with his colleagues at BWH, in the Program in Infectious Disease and Social Change at Harvard Medical School, and in Haiti, Peru, and Russia, Dr. Farmer has pioneered novel, community-based treatment strategies for AIDS and tuberculosis (including multi drug-resistant tuberculosis). Dr. Farmer and his colleagues have successfully challenged the policymakers and critics who claim that quality health care is impossible to deliver in resource-poor settings.

Dr. Farmer has written extensively about health and human rights, and about the role of social inequalities in the distribution and outcome of infectious diseases. He is the author of Pathologies of Power (University of California Press, 2003), Infections and Inequalities (University of California Press, 1998), The Uses of Haiti (Common Courage Press, 1994), and AIDS and Accusation (University of California Press, 1992). In addition, he is co-editor of Women, Poverty, and AIDS (Common Courage Press, 1996) and of The Global Impact of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (Harvard Medical School and Open Society Institute, 1999).

Dr. Farmer is the recipient of the Duke University Humanitarian Award, the Margaret Mead Award from the American Anthropological Association, the American Medical Association's Outstanding International Physician (Nathan Davis) Award, and the Heinz Humanitarian Award. In 1993, he was awarded a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “genius award” in recognition of his work. Dr. Farmer is the subject of Pulitzer Prizewinner Tracy Kidder's Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World (Random House, 2003).

Dr. Farmer received his Bachelor's degree from Duke University and his M.D. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is the Presley Professor of Medical Anthropology in the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

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Last modified: September 18, 2014

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