Skip to Main Content
Below are the biographies for CAP's "Art of Social Change: Child Welfare, Education, and Juvenile Justice" Fall 2009 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.|
Jessica Budnitz (Lecturer on Law) is CAP's founding Managing Director. Before working at CAP, she founded and directed Juvenile Justice Partners, a child-focused legal clinic in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is an Echoing Green Foundation Fellow, the 2003 recipient of HLS's Gary Bellow Public Service Award, and a 2004 recipient of the YWCA of Cambridge Award for Outstanding Women. Ms. Budnitz is currently a Prelaw Residential Tutor in Leverett House at Harvard College. She is a 2001 graduate of Harvard Law School and a 1998 graduate of Duke University.
Bryan Stevenson is the Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama and also a Professor of Law at the New York University School of Law. His representation of poor people and death row prisoners in the deep south has won him national recognition. He and his staff have been successful in overturning dozens of capital murder cases and death sentences where poor people have been unconstitutionally convicted or sentenced. Mr. Stevenson has been recognized as one of the top public interest lawyers in the country. His efforts to confront bias against the poor and people of color in the criminal justice system have earned him dozens of national awards including the National Public Interest Lawyer of the Year, the ABA Wisdom Award for Public Service, the ACLU National Medal of Liberty, the Reebok Human Rights Award, the Olaf Palme Prize for International Human Rights and the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowship Award Prize. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government. He has published articles on race and poverty and the criminal justice system, and manuals on capital litigation and habeas corpus. Visit www.eji.org.
LaKeytria Windray Felder is a 2004 graduate of Harvard Law School. In 2005, LaKeytria completed a federal district court clerkship in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 2006, after a brief stint at a New York law firm, LaKeytria accepted the Chesterfield Smith Pro Bono Fellowship at Holland & Knight LLP in Washington DC. The fellowship provided her with the opportunity to work exclusively on pro bono matters for two years. Her pro bono practice included: challenging unconstitutional conditions of confinement on behalf of adult prisoners and juvenile pre-trial detainees, advocating for improved state indigent defense systems, and litigating on behalf a Native American tribe based on unethical medical research practices by the state, among other matters. In her third year at H&K, she continued her pro bono practice while also managing billable matters. As of August 2009, LaKeytria became an assistant federal public defender in the District of Maryland responsible for felony trials and appeals.
Dana Shoenberg is the Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Children's Law and Policy (CCLP), where she works with juvenile justice systems around the country on reducing racial and ethnic disparities, increasing alternatives to detention, and improving conditions of confinement in juvenile facilities. She also works in the nation's capital on federal legislative reforms related to juvenile justice. From 1998 to 2005, she served in the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section, where she investigated and sought remedies for patterns and practices of constitutional and other federal law violations in state and local juvenile detention facilities, jails, prisons, and police departments. Prior to that, she held two clinical teaching fellowships, in the Family Law Clinic at the University of Baltimore School of Law from 1996 to 1998, and in the Criminal Justice Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center from 1994 to 1996. Dana clerked for Judge Edward N. Cahn, then Chief Judge of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, from 1993 to 1994. She earned her J.D. from Yale Law School, a Master's degree in legal advocacy from the Georgetown University Law Center, and a B.A. from Cornell University.
|Professor James Forman, Jr. is a graduate of Brown University and Yale Law School. While attending law school, he was active in BLSA and was a book reviews editor for the Yale Law Journal. Following graduation, he served as a judicial clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Professor Forman worked for six years with the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C., where he represented juveniles and adults in serious felony cases. In 1999, Professor Forman was promoted to training director for new attorneys at the agency and developed the inaugural training program for the independent CJA bar. Professor Forman's interest in educational programs for at-risk and court-involved youth led him to start, along with a colleague, the Maya Angelou Public Charter School in 1997. The school is recognized as one of the most successful programs of its kind in the country, combining rigorous education, job training, counseling, mental health services, life skills, and dormitory living for school dropouts and youth who have previously been incarcerated. Professor Forman teaches and writes in the areas of criminal procedure and education law. Professor Forman serves on the board of the American Constitution Society, the Children's Defense Fund, the Education Trust, and the Maya Angelou Charter School.|
|Will Austin is a Co-Director at Roxbury Prep. Previously, Mr. Austin taught math and directed Enrichment and summer programs at Roxbury. Prior to Roxbury Prep, Mr. Austin received a two-year teaching fellowship at The Steppingstone Foundation. He holds an A.B. in Government from Harvard University and an M.A. in Educational Studies from Tufts University. Mr. Austin is a lifetime resident of Boston and a graduate of Boston Public Schools.|
|Marlies Spanjaard joined the EdLaw Project in August, 2001 where she has represented students in school disciplinary hearings, special education team meetings, and administrative hearings before the Bureau of Special Education appeals. Marlies has trained extensively on education related issues throughout the state and before a wide variety of audiences including parents, youth workers, students and lawyers. In 2007, Marlies began teaching at Wheelock College as an adjunct instructor in the college's Juvenile Justice and Youth Advocacy Concentration. She earned her J.D. and her M.S.W. at Washington University Law School and George Warren Brown School of Social Work in St. Louis, MO.|
|Paulo Barrozo is an Assistant Professor of Law at Boston College Law School. He received an S.J.D. from Harvard Law School and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Rio de Janeiro University Research Institute. His scholarship focuses on international law, on constitutional criminal justice, and jurisprudence. His interests in international law include international disability law and international family law.|
|David M. Smolin is the Harwell G. Davis Professor of Constitutional Law at Cumberland Law School, Samford University, and Director, Center for Biotechnology, Law and Ethics. His teaching areas include Constitutional Law, Family and Juvenile Law, Bioethics, Wills and Trusts, International Human Rights, Intellectual Property, Law and Religion, and Criminal Law. Professor Smolin has authored over thirty-five articles. He has been the primary author/co-author of amicus curiae briefs in significant Supreme Court cases, and has submitted written and/or oral testimony before two Congressional committees, and legislative committees in five states. Professor Smolin has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at the School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), teaching in the area of childrens rights. He works together with his wife, Desiree Smolin, on adoption reform issues. Many of Professor Smolins adoption-related articles are available online at his bepress web site: http://works.bepress.com/david_smolin/. A broader listing of his articles, including work on childrens rights and child labor, is available on his faculty web page: http://cumberland.samford.edu/cumberland_people.asp?ID=475 . Desiree Smolins web blog on adoption corruption issues can be found here: http://www.fleasbiting.blogspot.com/ . David and Desiree are the parents of eight children, including two adopted as older children from India.|
|Margaret Blood is the Founder and President of Strategies for Children, Inc., where she oversees the Early Education for All Campaign and related public policy and consulting projects. The goal of the statewide Early Education for All 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 ten 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. In 2007, she founded Mil Milagros, Inc. to help address the pressing health, nutrition and education issues facing children in the Guatemalan Highlands.|
|Richard Weissbourd is currently a lecturer in education at HGSE and at the Kennedy School of Government. His work focuses on vulnerability and resilience in childhood, the achievement gap, moral development, and effective schools and services for children. For several years he worked as a psychologist in community mental health centers as well as on the Annie Casey Foundation’s New Futures Project, an effort to prevent children from dropping out of school. He is a founder of several interventions for at-risk children, including ReadBoston and WriteBoston, city-wide literacy initiatives led by Mayor Menino. With Robert Selman, he founded Project ASPIRE, a social and ethical development intervention in three Boston schools. He is also a founder of a new pilot school, the Lee Academy, that begins with children at 3 years old. He has advised on the city, state and federal levels on family policy and school reform and has written for numerous scholarly and popular publications. He is the author of The Vulnerable Child: What Really Hurts America’s Children and What We Can Do About It (Addison-Wesley, 1996) and The Parents We Mean to Be: How Well-Intentioned Adults Undermine Children's Moral and Emotional Development (Houghton Mifflin, 2009).|
|David Deakin is the Chief of the Family Protection and Sexual Assault Bureau of the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office in Boston. He supervises teams of lawyers, victim witness advocates, forensic interviewers and investigators, who investigate and prosecute cases of physical and sexual abuse of children, child homicide, domestic violence, and adult sexual assault. Before becoming Chief of the Family Protection and Sexual Assault Bureau in 2004, David served as Chief of the Child Abuse Unit since 1998, and before that, he worked as an assistant district attorney in the Child Abuse Unit. From 1992 to 1996, David worked as a prosecutor in the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1991, David served for a year as a law clerk to Justice Ruth I. Abrams of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (now retired). David holds undergraduate degrees from Williams College and Oxford University.|
|Alice Newton, MD, attended Boston University Medical School. She completed two years of a surgical residency followed by a pediatric residency at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). She currently holds academic appointments at Children's Hospital of Boston and MGH as the Medical Director of the Child Protection Team and as Instructor at the Harvard Medical School. Her personal interests are running and her young children.|
|James Dwyer has worked in programs for children or in child advocacy since high school. After finishing law school at Yale in 1987 and working for a time in D.C. law firms, he left to study children's issues from a theoretical perspective, completing a Ph.D. in philosophy at Stanford in 1995, with a dissertation about regulation of religious schools that became his first book. After working full-time for a while as a guardian ad litem for children in the Albany, NY area, Jim began his law teaching career, at Chicago-Kent, in 1996. In 1998, he moved to the University of Wyoming, and in 2000 he began teaching at William & Mary, his current home. After writing another book on the state's relationship with private schools, a book on school vouchers published in 2002, he turned his attention to state involvement in formation and dissolution of children's family relationships. He published The Relationship Rights of Children (Cambridge University Press) in 2006, and in the past few years has published articles focusing on the state's parentage decision making at the time of children's birth. One article criticizes the child protection system's failure to identify at the time of birth parents who pose a great risk to their offspring. Another argues that children have a constitutional right against the state placing them into family relationships with adults whom the state knows to be unfit. His most recently completed article argues that the state should declare some communities unfit places for children to live and should adopt aggressive measures to ensure that no children live in such places. As an intellectual diversion, Jim also recently completed a book presenting a comprehensive theory of moral status and explaining why children actually occupy a moral status superior to that of adults. Jim teaches family law, youth law, and a law & social justice seminar.|
|Martin Guggenheim is a leading expert in the field of children and law law. He has taught in NYU's clinical program since 1973 including a juvenile defender clinic and a clinic in which students represent parents in child protective proceedings. He is the author of numerous law review articles on children and the law and of five books including What's Wrong with Children's Rights (Harvard 2005).|
|Gail Garinger was named as the Child Advocate for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in late April 2008 pursuant to Governor Deval Patrick's executive order. From 2001 until 2008 she served as the first justice of the Middlesex county division of the juvenile court department, having been appointed to the bench in 1995. Ms. Garinger previously was in private practice, specializing in child welfare and health law, after acting as general counsel at Children's Hospital Boston and directing an NIMH-funded child abuse and neglect research project at the Judge Baker Guidance Center. She has served on several supreme judicial court committees, including the Commission on Juvenile Justice, the judiciary and the media committee, and the judicial evaluation committee. She has written on a variety of child health and welfare topics, and is a frequent panelist, speaker, and guest lecturer. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Indiana University.|
|Erik Pitchal joined Suffolk University in Boston in 2007 as Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and founder of the new Child Advocacy Clinic at the Law School. He also teaches Family Law and the Juvenile Defender Clinic. Prof. Pitchal received his J.D. from Yale and his B.A. in public policy from Brown. Prof. Pitchal's expertise as a practicing lawyer is in the representation of children, primarily in dependency and delinquency cases. Before entering academia, he was an attorney at the Legal Aid Society and Children's Rights, both in New York. He is co-counsel in Kenny A. v. Perdue, a federal class action lawsuit in Atlanta in which he represents 3000 foster children. Prof. Pitchal is a former law clerk to Judge Robert Patterson of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. In 2005, he was named Child Advocate of the Year by the American Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division. Prof. Pitchal's research interests are in family law, children and the law, and legal ethics. He is particularly interested in the relationships among lawyers for children, their clients, and the state. His recent publications include Thickening the Safety Net: Key Elements to Successful Independent Living Programs For Young Adults Aging Out of Foster Care, 23 ST. JOHN'S J. LEGAL COMMENT. 447 (2008); Where Are All the Children? Increasing Youth Participation in Dependency Proceedings, 12 J. U.C. DAVIS J. JUV. L. & POL. 233 (2008); and Children's Constitutional Right to Counsel in Dependency Cases, 15 TEMPLE POL. & CIV. RTS. L. REV. 663 (2007). Prof. Pitchal is currently leading a research team investigating Nebraska's guardian ad litem system in dependency cases. Prof. Pitchal serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Counsel for Children; the Massachusetts Task Force on Youth Aging Out of DCF Care; and the advisory board of the ABA Center on Children and the Law's Bar-Youth Empowerment Project.|
|Eric Schwarz is the Co-Founder and CEO of Citizen Schools, a leading education nonprofit that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for low-income children across the country. Citizen Schools was awarded Fast Company magazines Social Capitalist Award in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008 and the Skoll Foundations Skoll Award in Social Entrepreneurship in 2005. The organization currently serves an estimated 4,500 students and engages 3,800 volunteers across seven states. Schwarz has been tapped to speak about education reform and Expanded Learning Time at numerous conferences across the country. He has served as a member of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education's Task Force on 21st Century Skills, the Center for American Progress working group on Expanded Learning Time, the transition team of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and the Social Entrepreneur Advisory Board for the New Profit, Inc. Gathering of Leaders. He is the author of Realizing the American Dream: Historical Scorecard, Current Challenges, Future Opportunities, a widely cited essay examining social change efforts and the role of social entrepreneurs, and co-editor of The Case for Twenty-First Century Learning. Previously, Schwarz served as a Public Service Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, as Executive Director of City Year Boston, and as a Vice President at City Year. He also served on Gary Harts 1984 Presidential campaign and as a journalist and columnist at The Oakland Tribune and The Patriot Ledger, where he won two national awards and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Schwarz earned his B.A. at the University of Vermont and his Masters in Education at Harvard University. He lives in Boston with his wife, Maureen Coffey, and their two children.|
|Herbert Sturz is a Senior Adviser of the Open Society Institute. He serves as the Chairman of the Center for New York City Neighborhoods and is the Founding Chairman of The After-School Corporation. Mr. Sturz has served as Founding Director of The Vera Institute of Justice; New York City Deputy Mayor for Criminal Justice; Chairman of the New York City Planning Commission; and was also a member of the editorial board of The New York Times. He currently serves on the boards of Single Stop USA and ReServe Elder Service, Inc. Mr. Sturz received a BA from the University of Wisconsin and an MA from Columbia University. He has received various honorary degrees and is the recipient of the Rockefeller Public Service Award; The Roscoe Pound Award, National Council on Crime and Delinquency; The August Vollmer Award, American Society of Criminology; and others.|
|Since 2005, Jodi Grant has been Executive Director of the Afterschool Alliance, a non-profit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children and youth have access to quality, affordable afterschool programs. As Executive Director, Jodi oversees all aspects of the Afterschool Alliance's work, building support and increasing funding for quality afterschool programs, setting goals and strategies for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and overseeing a team of top researchers, policy analysts and communications specialists who are creating materials and advocating for policies that will help us make afterschool programs available to all children across the country. Prior to joining the Afterschool Alliance, Jodi served as Director of Work and Family Programs for the National Partnership for Women & Families. In that position, she worked to protect and to expand the Family & Medical Leave Act, and was a member of the team that successfully defended the law before the U.S. Supreme Court. Prior to that, she worked on Capitol Hill as General Counsel to the Senate Budget Committee and as Staff Director for a Senate Committee. Her legislative accomplishments include expanded support for the child tax credit, the Child Health Insurance Program and class size reduction. She also served as liaison to the National Governors' Association, where she worked closely with Republican and Democratic governors. Jodi graduated from Yale University with honors in 1990 and was elected senior class president. She received her law degree from Harvard University, where she was elected first marshall. As a student, she volunteered at an afterschool program. She currently serves on the Board of the Partners for Livable Communities and as a Trustee of America's Promise. Jodi, her husband and two children live in Bethesda, Maryland.|
|Katya Fels Smyth is Founder and Principal of the Full Frame Initiative, to which she brings nearly two decades of experience in program development and services, community networking, and creating social will to address seemingly intractable social problems. Katya is advancing the Initiative as a Research Fellow at the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and is a Fellow with the Eos Foundation, advising on their urban anti-poverty effort, Boston Rising.|
Prior to launching the Full Frame Initiative in 2007, Katya founded and led On The Rise, Inc., a Cambridge, Massachusetts -based organization providing innovative and effective support and community to the area’s most disenfranchised women. In her 11 years at On The Rise, the organization helped over 1000 women achieve new levels of safety and personal agency. Significantly, she also helped change community dialogue about who “can” be helped.
Katya is a Social Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Clark University's Graduate School of Management, where she is helping build the University’s new Innovation and Entrepreneurship program. Recent honors include being named one of five “Moms Who Change the World” by Working Mother magazine in 2006, being a profiled “Agent of Change” in the 22nd edition of Government by the People, the Boston Business Journal’s 40 under 40 in 2002, and being named one of 125 women leaders in Massachusetts by the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union. She founded On The Rise through social entrepreneurship fellowships from the Echoing Green Foundation and the Stride Rite Foundation.
Katya is sought to speak and provide consultation nationally on the design, implementation and evaluation of programs that work with highly marginalized women, and she has also participated in international training efforts for domestic violence advocates in Japan and the Czech Republic. Katya and organizations she has founded have been profiled in numerous local and national publications; she has authored and coauthored articles and papers for a variety of peer-reviewed and general publications. She is a member of the Massachusetts Governor’s Council to Address Sexual and Domestic Violence, where she co-chairs the System Change and Integration Committee; she serves as an advisor to a number of Massachusetts community-based organizations.
Katya holds an AB with honors in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from Harvard an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from the Episcopal Divinity School. She lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two children.
| David Olds, Ph.D. is Professor of Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Preventive Medicine, and Nursing at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, where he directs the Prevention Research Center for Family and Child Health. He has devoted his career to investigating methods of preventing health and developmental problems in children and parents from low-income families. The primary focus of his work has been on developing and testing in a series of randomized controlled trials a program of prenatal and infancy home visiting by nurses for socially disadvantaged mothers bearing first children, known today as the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP). Professor Olds and his team are conducting longitudinal follow-ups of each of the randomized trials of this program to examine its long term effects on maternal and child health and development. Since 1996, his team has been helping new communities develop the NFP outside of research settings, with a focus on faithfully implementing the model tested in the scientifically controlled studies. Today, the program is operating in over 350 counties nationally, serving over 16,000 families per year. As the program is disseminated throughout the United States, Professor Olds’s team is now conducting research with local communities to improve the NFP model. In recent years, Olds has developed collaborations with international partners to support adapting and testing the program in international contexts. A member of the American Pediatrics Society, the Society for Prevention Research, and the Academy of Experimental Criminology, Professor Olds has received numerous awards for his work, including the Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievements in Health, the Lela Rowland Prevention Award from the National Mental Health Association, a Senior Research Scientist Award from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Brooke Visiting Professorship in Epidemiology from the Royal Society of Medicine, and the 2008 Stockholm Prize in Criminology. Professor Olds obtained his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and his Ph.D. from Cornell.|
President Obama’s budget proposal released at the beginning of March calls for the creation of a Nurse-Home Visitation program for low-income mothers bearing first children to be scaled up over a ten-year period so that the program would serve all eligible mothers in the country.
Back to Top