Harolyn M. Belcher
Harolyn Belcher, M.D., M.H.S., is the director of the Center for Diversity in Public Health Leadership Training at Kennedy Krieger Institute. She is PI of three Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public health leadership training programs to promote diversity in public health research, training, and leadership experiences for undergraduate, public health graduate, medical, dental, pharmacy, and veterinary students. She is co-PI on a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to conduct a cost comparison of two evidence-based parent interventions for young children with emotional and behavioral problems. Dr. Belcher received her B.S. in zoology from Howard University in 1980, her medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine in 1982, and her master's in health science focusing on mental health in 2002 from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Cheryl Polk, Ph.D., is Safe & Sound’s first chief program officer. Safe & Sound has worked for more than 45 years to prevent child abuse and reduce its devastating impact. In this position, Dr. Polk supervises the agency’s clinical and family teams: Integrated Children & Family Services that bolster mental health, and Community Education & Strategic Partnerships. Prior to this role, she served as president of HighScope Educational Research Foundation. For more than 25 years, Dr. Polk has promoted healthy child development, especially for children at risk of school failure and their families, through her work as a psychologist, academic, and civic volunteer. She served as the executive director of the Lisa and John Pritzker Family Fund where her insight into early childhood development and philanthropy helped create innovative intervention programs for children exposed to community and interpersonal trauma. She was president of the board of directors of Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families and served as a board member of that organization for more than 10 years. Dr. Polk received her Ph.D. in psychology from California School of Professional Psychology-SF/Alliant International University.
Carlos E. Santos
Carlos Santos, Ph.D., is an associate professor at University of California, Los Angeles’ Luskin School of Public Affairs. Dr. Santos’ research draws on diverse disciplines, theories and methods to better understand how oppressions (e.g., racism, heterosexism, etc.) overlap to create unique conditions for individuals; conditions that are shaped by the contexts one occupies, with implications for one’s development and well-being. He is interested in how individuals cope with these overlapping stressors through attitudes associated with membership in different social groups (e.g., having pride in one’s ethnic-racial and/or sexual identity group), and positions one occupies (e.g., being undocumented), and whether such coping attenuate or amplify the negative consequences of overlapping oppressions on mental health, educational outcomes, and civic engagement. Dr. Santos has authored nearly 30 peer reviewed publications. In 2017, he was awarded the “Emerging Professional Contributions to Research Award” by the Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Santos received his Ph.D. in developmental psychology from New York University, a master’s degree in education from Harvard University, and a bachelor’s degree from New York University.
Deborah K. Walker
Deborah Klein Walker, Ed.D., is the immediate past president of the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice (formerly the American Orthopsychiatric Association) and a former president of the American Public Health Association and the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs. She is currently the president of the board of Family Voices, a board member of the Institute for Community Health and the Cambridge Health Alliance Foundation, and an adjunct professor at the Boston University School of Public Health and the Tufts University School of Medicine. She formerly served as vice president and senior fellow at Abt Associates, Inc. and as associate commissioner for programs and prevention at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Prior to state service, Dr. Walker was an associate professor of human development at the Harvard School of Public Health and a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Walker has authored three books and over 100 articles and book chapters. Her research and policy interests include child and family policy, program implementation and evaluation, public health practice, disability policy, community health systems, health outcomes and data systems. Dr. Walker has been honored by organizations representing maternal and child health services, disabilities, and at-risk populations. She received her Ed.D. in human development from Harvard University.
David W. Willis
David Willis, M.D., is a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Social Policy. He leads a national initiative to advance early relational health for child health and communities. A board-certified, developmental-behavioral pediatrician, Dr. Willis was a clinician in Oregon for more than 30 years with a practice focused on early childhood development and family therapy. Most recently, he was the first executive director of the Perigee Fund, a Seattle-based philanthropy focused on strengthening of the social and emotional development of all babies and toddlers, and on advancing the workforce to do so. From 2012-2018, he served as director of the Division of Home Visiting and Early Childhood Services at the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal Child Health Bureau, in Washington DC, and continues to be a thought leader in home visiting and early childhood systems. During his career, Dr. Willis has also been a Harris Mid-Career Fellow with childhood development nonprofit ZERO TO THREE; the past president of the Oregon Pediatric Society; an executive member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Section on Early Education and Child Care; and chair of the AAP’s Board’s Early Brain & Child Development Strategic Initiative. Dr. Willis has been a national lecturer, advisor to early childhood national policy and visionary for the transformation of child health care in coordination with early childhood communities and focused on the advancement of early relational health and young children’s social-emotional and developmental well-being. Dr. Willis received his M.D. from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University.