Advisory Board Bios

Advisory Board Bios2020-08-25T11:12:41-04:00

David Adams

David is the Director of Social-Emotional Learning at The Urban Assembly. He previously served as the Social-Emotional Learning Coordinator for District 75 where he shaped the District’s approach to social-emotional learning for students with severe cognitive and behavioral challenges. He has worked internationally in schools in England, standing up and evaluating programs of positive behavioral supports and Social-Emotional Learning as a research intern at Yale University’s Health, Emotion and Behavior Lab, and published multiple academic papers around the relationship of social-emotional competence, and student academic and behavioral outcomes. He is married with two children, serves on the Board of Directors of CASEL and is a Civil Affairs Officer in the Army Reserve. David holds an M.Ed in Educational Psychology from Fordham University.

Jean-Claude Brizard

Jean-Claude Brizard is Senior Advisor and Deputy Director in US Programs at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He is the former Chief Executive of Chicago Public Schools. Prior to his appointment in Chicago, he was Superintendent of Schools for the Rochester, NY School District. Under Mr. Brizard’s leadership, both the Chicago Public Schools and the Rochester City School District saw substantial improvements in student performance. Mr. Brizard’s experience also includes a 21-year career as an educator and administrator with the NYC Department of Education. He served as a Regional Superintendent, supervising more than 100 schools in the Borough of Brooklyn and he also served as the system’s Executive Director for its 400 secondary schools. He is a Fellow of the Broad Center, a Fellow of the Pahara-Aspen Institute, and a member of the Aspen Institute Global Leadership Network. A commercial pilot, Mr. Brizard credits his parents—both of whom were educators—with inspiring him to pursue a career in education.

Christina Cipriano

Christina Cipriano, Ph.D., holds a dual appointment at the Yale School of Medicine as Assistant Professor of Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center and Director of Research at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence (YCEI). Dr. Cipriano’s research focuses on the systematic examination of classroom social processes in the promotion of pathways to optimal developmental outcomes for traditionally underserved student and teacher populations. Dr. Cipriano has extensive experience working in classrooms and schools, providing training to teachers and support staff, and direct instruction to students. As the Director of Research at the YCEI, Dr. Cipriano oversees, designs, and maintains large-scale basic and applied research studies on: emotions, emotional intelligence, and social and emotional learning, including longitudinal studies and randomized controlled trials. Dr. Cipriano has a wealth of project management experience as the PI and Director of numerous major grants supporting the development, validation, and training of student assessment, social and emotional learning, and classroom observation practices. Dr. Cipriano received her Ph.D. in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology from Boston College, her Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and undergraduate degree from Hofstra University. Dr. Cipriano is a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar, and the mother of four beautiful children who inspire her every day to take the moon and make it shine for everyone. You can learn more about her work @drchriscip and

Jennifer DePaoli

Jennifer DePaoli is a Senior Researcher at the Learning Policy Institute, where she co-leads the Whole Child Education team, focusing on students’ social and emotional learning and well-being, the science of learning and development, and putting the whole child at the center of policy and practice. DePaoli brings with her more than a decade of experience teaching and conducting research and policy analysis in K–12 education. She began her career teaching middle grade students and later taught courses in educational foundations to pre-service teachers at the University of Akron and Ohio State University. Prior to joining LPI, DePaoli served as the Senior Research & Policy Advisor at Civic Enterprises, where she led research on raising high school graduation rates and increasing college readiness, social and emotional learning, and alternative school accountability systems. Before that, she conducted school choice and charter school policy research at Policy Matters Ohio. DePaoli earned her Ph.D. in Education from Ohio State University, where she focused on state- and district-level K–12 education reform policy. She also holds a Master’s in Middle Childhood Education and a B.A. in Communications from the University of Dayton.

Camille Farrington

Camille A. Farrington is a Managing Director and Senior Research Associate at the UChicago Consortium. She is a national expert on academic mindsets and the measurement of psychosocial factors in academic settings. Her research focuses on understanding how learning environments provide opportunities for positive developmental experiences for students, how young people make sense of daily schooling experiences, and how school structures and teacher practices shape students’ beliefs, behaviors, performance, and development. Camille is passionate about leveraging the science of learning and development in K-12 schools, identifying and disrupting inequitable structures and practices, supporting the ongoing growth and development of educators to lead profound change in schools, and ultimately transforming the daily schooling experience and life outcomes of educationally marginalized students and communities. Her book, Failing at School: Lessons for Redesigning Urban High Schools (2014, Teachers College Press), outlines one approach to equitable school redesign. All of Camille’s work is informed by her fifteen years’ experience as a public high school teacher. Working or not, Camille attempts to split her time as evenly as possible between Chicago, the best American city, and California, which is hands down the best state in the land.

Hunter Gehlbach

Hunter Gehlbach is a Professor and Vice Dean at the Johns Hopkins School of Education as well as the Director of Research at Panorama Education. An educational psychologist by training and a social psychologist at heart, his primary interests lie in improving the social climate of schools, bolstering students’ motivation, and helping adolescents develop greater self-regulatory capacities. Thanks to a recent Spencer Foundation mid-career fellowship, much of his recent focus has shifted towards investigating how social psychological approaches might improve environmental education. He complements a methodological interest in helping social scientists improve their questionnaire design processes with recent work on enhancing the rigor of educational research through open science practices.

Gehlbach is a member of the questionnaire committees for the National Assessment of Educational Progress and the Programme for International Student Assessment as well as an editorial board member for Educational Psychology Review and the Journal of Educational Psychology. A former high school teacher and coach, Gehlbach taught at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education from 2006-2015, before joining the faculty at UCSB from 2015-2019, before joining the faculty at Johns Hopkins in 2019.

Paul Goren

Paul Goren currently serves as Chief Strategy Advisor for the Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy. Between 2014-2019, he was superintendent of schools for Evanston/Skokie School District 65 where he implemented early literacy curricular reforms, established climate teams and approaches to social/emotional learning in every building, and led a robust equity agenda that included racial identity training for 1400 employees over a 2-year period. Goren successfully negotiated seven contracts during his tenure and led a successful excess tax referendum for the district that garnered support from 80% of the community. Prior to joining District 65, Goren served as the senior vice president for program at the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) in Chicago. Previously he served as the interim chief for strategy and accountability for Chicago Public Schools while working as executive director of the Consortium on Chicago School Research. A former middle school social studies and math teacher and basketball coach, Goren worked on the senior administrative teams of the Minneapolis Public Schools and the San Diego Unified School District. He served for over a decade as senior vice president of the Spencer Foundation and as a program director for Child and Youth Development at the MacArthur Foundation. Goren has a Ph.D. from the Stanford University School of Education, a Master’s of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas-Austin, and a B.A. from Williams College.

Akira Gutierrez

Akira S. Gutierrez, M.A., is a doctoral student in Clinical Science in Child & Adolescent Psychology at Florida International University. While studying Child Development at Tufts University, she trained in early childhood education and applied human developmental research. Her professional experiences include teaching in diverse and inclusive classrooms as well as providing clinical services to children with disabilities. Before returning to graduate school, Akira served as the Senior Manager of Research-Practice Integration at Transforming Education, where she supported educators in integrating best practices for promoting social-emotional development in schools and classrooms.

Akira has conducted research related to social-emotional learning, positive youth development, and teacher-researcher partnerships. Her current research focuses on understanding the implications of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and trauma on academic, behavioral, and social-emotional development among young children. As a clinician-in-training, she is involved in the implementation of evidence-based clinical practices in community settings to support children and families in building strong relationships, developing critical social-emotional skills for thriving and wellbeing, and being prepared for a strong start in kindergarten. In her little (but important!) down time, Akira enjoys spending time with her family, taking mindful walks in natural spaces, and exploring new places alongside her husband and young daughter.

Laura Hamilton

Laura Hamilton is a senior behavioral scientist and distinguished chair in learning and assessment at the RAND Corporation. She directs the RAND Center for Social and Emotional Learning Research and co-directs the American Educator Panels, RAND’s nationally representative survey panels of teachers, principals, and school district leaders. She also serves as a faculty member at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her research addresses topics related to social and emotional learning, educational assessment, accountability, instruction, and civics, and she currently leads RAND’s work on the National Center to Improve Social and Emotional Learning and School Safety. Other recent projects include a study of a social and emotional learning intervention for elementary schools and afterschool programs, the development of a database of measures of students’ inter- and intrapersonal competencies, and an evaluation of personalized learning interventions. She’s served on several committees that address topics related to assessment and evaluation, including the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee on Developing Indicators of Education Equity, the steering committee for the CASEL Assessment Work Group, and the technical advisory committees for several state assessment programs. She holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology and an M.S. in statistics from Stanford University.

Robert Jagers

Robert J. Jagers is CASEL’s vice president of research. Prior to joining CASEL, he was a faculty member in the Combined Program in Education and Psychology at the University of Michigan, a Co-PI of the Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context (CSBYC), and the founding director of Wolverine Pathways, a university-sponsored diversity pipeline program for qualified secondary school students. Among his various CASEL duties, Dr. Jagers is leading work with partner districts to explore how social and emotional learning can be leveraged to promote equitable learning environments and equitable developmental outcomes for students from historically underserved groups. He has a particular interest in participatory approaches to SEL research and practice and their implications for the civic development of children and youth.

Stephanie Jones

Stephanie Jones’ research, anchored in prevention science, focuses on the effects of poverty and exposure to violence on children and youth’s social, emotional, and behavioral development. Over the last ten years her work has focused on both evaluation research addressing the impact of preschool and elementary focused social-emotional learning interventions on behavioral and academic outcomes and classroom practices; as well as new curriculum development, implementation, and testing. Jones is a recipient of the Grawemeyer Award in Education for her work with Zigler and Walter Gilliam on A Vision for Universal Preschool Education (Cambridge University Press, 2006) and a recipient of the Joseph E. Zins Early-Career Distinguished Contribution Award for Action Research in Social and Emotional Learning. Jones’ research portfolio emphasizes the importance of conducting rigorous scientific research, including program evaluation, that also results in accessible content for early and middle childhood practitioners and policymakers. Her developmental and experimental research investigates the causes and consequences of social-emotional problems and competencies; strategies for altering the pathways that shape children’s social-emotional development; and programs, interventions, and pedagogy that foster social-emotional competencies among children, adults, and environments. Her policy-driven research with colleague Nonie Lesaux focuses on the challenge of simultaneously expanding and improving the quality of early childhood education, at scale (The Leading Edge of Early Childhood Education, Harvard Education Press, 2016). Jones serves on numerous national advisory boards and expert consultant groups related to social-emotional development and child and family anti-poverty policies, including the National Boards of Parents as Teachers and Engaging Schools. She consults to program developers, including Sesame Street, and has conducted numerous evaluations of programs and early education efforts, including Reading, Writing, Respect and Resolution, Resolving Conflict Creatively, SECURe, and the Head Start CARES initiative. Across projects and initiatives, Jones maintains a commitment to supporting the alignment of preK-3 curricula and instructional practices.

Matthew Kraft

Matthew Kraft is an associate professor of education and economics at Brown University. His research and teaching interests include the economics of education, education policy analysis, and applied quantitative methods for causal inference. His primary work focuses on efforts to improve educator and organizational effectiveness in urban public schools. He has published on topics including teacher labor markets, coaching and professional development, teacher evaluation systems, teacher-parent communication, school working conditions and social-emotional skills. He is the recipient of the Brown University Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, the William T. Grant Scholar Award, the AERA Palmer O. Johnson Memorial Award, and the NEA/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship. His research has been featured in The Economist, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Education Week, and National Public Radio. Prior to earning his doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Kraft taught middle and high school humanities in Oakland and Berkeley, CA public schools.

Clark McKown

Clark McKown, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences at Rush University Medical Center (RUMC). He is also founder and President of xSEL Labs, whose mission is to improve student outcomes by helping educators understand children’s social-emotional strengths and needs. xSEL Labs fulfills its mission by providing evidence-based assessments of student SE competencies and school climate. A leader in the field of SEL, McKown has written and spoken extensively on SEL with the goal of increasing the capacity of educators to use SEL assessments well. McKown was lead author on a report of the state of the field of SEL assessment. He is also the author of Assessing Student Social and Emotional Learning: From Planning Through Action.


Eric Moore

Eric Moore is the Chief of Academics and Accountability, Research and Equity at Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS). He oversees two departments responsible for ensuring that both academic and student supports are aligned to school needs, that equity is embedded in all academic divisional processes, and that identified district priorities (including equity, literacy, Multi-tiered Systems of Support, and Social and Emotional Learning) are clearly articulated and monitored.Eric holds an MPA from the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and is an alum of Harvard University’s Strategic Data Project Fellowship.

Isaiah Pickens

Dr. Isaiah Pickens is the founder and CEO of iOpening Enterprises, a professional development and media company that specializes in building the capacity of individuals and organizations to unlock their potential using psychological science, implementation best practices, and inspirational media. In this capacity, Dr. Pickens has developed the Bridge Trauma-Informed Culturally-Responsive (TICR) Program, a multi-day professional development for educators that provides a practical toolkit for managing youth traumatic stress responses in the school setting. As a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leader and Fellow, Dr. Pickens works collaboratively with cross-sector scholars and practitioners to promote a culture of health in America. Dr. Pickens currently sits on the National Board for Communities In Schools (CIS) and has been awarded by the American Psychological Association Early Career Achievement Award and the Black Enterprise BE Modern Man award for his contributions to the field of psychology. As a former clinical assistant professor at NYU School of Medicine and Assistant Director at the UCLA-Duke National Center for Child Traumatic Stress – the coordinating site of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) – Dr. Pickens has built a reputation as a national trauma expert and shares practical science-informed lessons about mental wellness with audiences around the world. Dr. Pickens aims to continue working toward systemic change and unlocking people’s potential by moving the world from happy to healthy through psychological science.

Shanette Porter

Shanette Porter is the Director of Research and Senior Fellow at the Mindset Scholars Network. Prior to joining the Network, Porter was a senior researcher at the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, where her research and partnerships focused on understanding the role of schools in shaping students’ social, emotional, and motivational experiences. Her ongoing lines of research examine the relationships among structural inequality, economic disadvantage, and students’ academic and life outcomes. This work centers on addressing issues related to measurement, effective data use, and policy implementation processes. Dr. Porter completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University’s Institute for Policy Research and the Department of Psychology, and earned a PhD in social and personality psychology from Cornell University, and a BA in psychology from Yale University.

Colin Rose

Prior to BlackPrint, Dr. Rose was the Assistant Superintendent of the Opportunity Gaps Office at the Boston Public Schools for 4 ½ years where he was able to build a legacy of effective systemic initiatives, professional development, workstreams, and programming. Among his accomplishments are the authoring of the Culturally and Linguistically Sustaining Practices (CLSP) Continuum, the foundational document for culturally responsive practices in BPS and broadly across the state; the authoring and implementation of the Opportunity and Achievement Gaps Policy and Implementation Plan – a strategic plan with over 125 SMART goals across all the offices in the Boston Public Schools; the co-creation of the BPS Racial Equity Planning Tool – a now mandatory planning document for major decisions in the district; and the cultivation of multiple innovative programs such as Excellence for All, a highly effective school model that aims to foster culturally responsive and rigorous instruction and supports. Dr. Rose’s leadership and equity innovations have been featured in multiple journals and media outlets including a feature in Boston Magazine in the Spring of 2019.

Hal Smith

Hal Smith serves as the Senior Vice President for Education, Youth Development and Health with the National Urban League, leading the organization’s programmatic, advocacy, policy and research work in those areas. For most of his career Hal as focused on issues of educational equity & excellence, access, social determinants of health, community building and expanding opportunity for historically underserved individuals and communities.

Prior to joining the National Urban League in 2008, Hal held teaching, research, administrative, policy, engagement and advocacy positions focused with the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), the Annenberg Institute for School Reform @ Brown University, the City College of New York, the College of the Holy Cross, Northern Illinois University, Lesley University and Harvard University.

Hal holds a B.B.A. in Human Resource Administration from Temple University, an M.A. in Africana studies from the State University of New York at Albany and an Ed.M. and Ed.D. in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Martin West

Martin R. West is the William H. Bloomberg Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and editor-in-chief of Education Next, a journal of opinion and research on education policy. He is also deputy director of Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance and a member of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and the National Assessment Governing Board. West studies the politics of K-12 education in the United States and how education policies affect student learning and social-emotional development. In 2013-14, he served as senior education policy advisor to the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. He previously taught at Brown University and was a research fellow at the Brookings Institution.

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