FORUMFYI.ORG - Key Persons


Adrienne Bard

Job Titles:
  • Senior Manager, Field Services
With an enthusiasm for details, Adrienne provides training and technical assistance to partners across the country engaged in continuous quality improvement.

Alicia Wilson-Ahlstrom

Job Titles:
  • Consultant, Big Picture Approach Training & Consulting
Alicia's portfolio includes writing and research projects related to out-of-school time, youth program quality and postsecondary success.

Alyssa Lucas

Job Titles:
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Administrative Assistant at the Weikart Center
Alyssa is the administrative assistant at the Weikart Center where she provides support to the vice president and executive team. She also provides logistical assistance while working across teams to support our work with clients. Alyssa recently graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies and a minor in Spanish Language, Literature, and Culture. During her university experience, she has volunteered abroad as an English tutor in Italy and taught a youth summer education program in Ecuador. In her free time, she enjoys writing creative short stories and exploring nature.

Amanda Heckenkamp

Job Titles:
  • Project Manager
  • Project Management & Design Assistant
Amanda provides training and technical assistance supports to OST networks engaged in YPQI and supports communications work at the Weikart Center.

Amanda Ruud

Job Titles:
  • Training Delivery Specialist

Ashley Brooks

Job Titles:
  • Program Associate
Ashley is a Maryland native and a graduate of the University of Maryland - College Park where she received a Bachelor of Arts in History. She loves D.C. sports and enjoys spending time with her family. Ashley provides the backbone of support to the Forum's co-founder and CEO, Karen Pittman, as well as other members of the senior staff.

Barbara Hillaker

Job Titles:
  • Training Content Specialist
Barbara Hillaker's work centers on developing or improving measures, assuring that they are aligned with developmental science and are valid & reliable.

Bryan Samuels

Job Titles:
  • Vice Chair
  • Executive Director of Chapin Hall at the University
  • Vice Chair / Executive Director, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago
Bryan Samuels serves as the Executive Director of Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, one of the nation's leading research and policy centers focused on improving the well-being of children and youth, families, and their communities. Under Samuels' leadership, Chapin Hall has continued to build its reputation as a center for excellence in data analysis, innovative research, and policy expertise. His tenure has been marked by a commitment to furthering the rigor and depth of Chapin Hall's research, and by fostering connections with partners around the University of Chicago, within Illinois, and throughout the nation. He has also helped establish Chapin Hall as a national leader on issues ranging from child well-being to youth homelessness. Before joining Chapin Hall, Samuels was appointed by President Barack Obama as Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families (ACYF), making him from 2010-2013 the highest-ranking federal child welfare policymaker in the country. As ACYF Commissioner, he emphasized the importance of child well-being and the use of data-driven approaches to improve the welfare of vulnerable children and youth. Samuels has over twenty years of experience in child welfare, including having served as the Chief of Staff of Chicago Public Schools under Arne Duncan and as Director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. He was also a lecturer at the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration from 1997 to 2003. He has a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Notre Dame and a master's from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.

Caitlin Johnson

Job Titles:
  • Co - Founder and Creative Director, SparkAction
A writer and journalist passionate about digital movement building & youth leadership, Caitlin runs the Forum's SparkAction.org and LeaderStories.org networks.

Chapin Hall

Job Titles:
  • Executive Director

Dale Blyth

Job Titles:
  • Independent Consultant

Danielle Goonan

Job Titles:
  • Director, Economic Policy Investments and Grantmaking, U.S. Jobs and Economic Opportunity, the Rockefeller Foundation

Danielle Varner

Job Titles:
  • Social Impact Design Associate

Dave Martineau

Job Titles:
  • Director of Design & Innovation
Dave returns to the Weikart Center as the Director of Design & Innovation with more than 20 years of experience in youth development and facilitation.

David Stevens

Job Titles:
  • Director of Research
  • Director of Research Operations, University of Chicago Consortium on School Research
David Stevens is the Director of Research Operations at the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research (UChicago Consortium), one of the nation's first education research-practice partnerships. In this role, he serves as a member of the senior leadership team, contributing to the mission, growth, and internal management of the organization. David has more than 15 years of experience conducting education research and helping practitioners and policymakers use data in their improvement efforts. Prior to joining the UChicago Consortium David worked as a Research Manager at Education Northwest, a non-profit education research and technical assistance center in Portland, OR. While there, he led state and regional research-practice partnerships through the Regional Education Laboratory (REL) Northwest program. David also served as a steering committee member of the National Network of Education Research-Practice Partnerships. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University.

Delbria Walton

Job Titles:
  • Policy Manager

Gary Glickman

Job Titles:
  • Independent Consultant
  • Independent Consultant / Managing Director ( Retired ), Accenture, Health and Public Service
Gary Glickman is an entrepreneurial, global senior executive with thirty years of experience providing leadership in both the public and private sectors, including in the fields of social finance, human services, cyber security, electronic banking and government efficiency. His prior roles included Managing Director overseeing Health and Human Service Consulting at Accenture, President and Chief Marketing Officer at Maximus, and CEO of Giesecke and Devrient Cadtech, the U.S. subsidiary of a multi-national manufacturing company. Glickman served for four years at the White House Office of Management & Budget and the U.S. Department of Treasury where he focused on work to develop new practices for financing public programs, including social impact bonds and "pay for success" initiatives. He has written and spoken extensively on the subjects of social impact bonds, integration of human services, electronic benefits transfer, biometrics, smart cards, and identity management. He is a successful entrepreneur and business leader as well as government and non-profit innovator.

Gerod Blue

Job Titles:
  • Senior Policy Manager
Gerod manages the development of policy programs, agendas, & various campaigns focused on decreasing the Opportunity Gap & furthering the mission of the Forum.

Ian Faigley

Job Titles:
  • Director of Outreach and Engagement
Ian is the point man for partners of the Forum. He manages communications efforts, working with staffers at both the Forum and partner organizations.

Jairus Cater

Job Titles:
  • Field Coordinator for SAILS Math TN
  • SAILS Field Coordinator, Tennessee Board of Regents

Jamal Stone

Job Titles:
  • Digital Engagement Associate
  • SparkAction 's Digital Engagement Associate
As SparkAction's Digital Engagement Associate, Jamal helps strategize and execute on content-driven campaigns, with a focus on equity, opportunity and justice.

Jennifer Harris

Job Titles:
  • Senior Manager, Field Services
Jennifer Harris has 20 years' experience in the field of out-of-school time programs. She has worked in direct service for the Alaska Council of Camp Fire USA, served as the Special Projects Coordinator for School-Age Projects with Arkansas State University, Chair and Network Coordinator for the CS Mott funded afterschool network in Arkansas, and most recently as Director of the Denver Afterschool Alliance. In her work she strives to transcend the efforts of traditional, siloed institutions and to instead create comprehensive supports for out-of-school time programs. A true "systems-thinker" at heart, Jennifer continues to work closely with various intermediaries on projects that focus on matters that directly impact out-of-school time programs. Jennifer holds a Masters in Public Administration with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership from the University of Alaska. A "systems-thinker" at heart, Jennifer works closely with intermediaries on projects that focus on matters that directly impact out-of-school time programs.

Jo Ann

Job Titles:
  • Director of Advocacy
Jo Ann works to advocate for policies that advance racial equity and social justice by connecting with policymakers & directly impacted youth and young adults.

Joe Bertoletti

Job Titles:
  • Senior Director, Field Services / Vice President, the Forum for Youth Investment
  • Senior Director, Field Services and Vice President, the Forum for Youth Investment
Joe coordinates a team of field consultants and trainers to deliver training and technical assistance to support the development of quality improvement systems.

Jordan Pineda

Job Titles:
  • Policy Manager, Children 's Cabinets
Jordan works to ensure that government and non-government stakeholders engage in policies that are horizontally and vertically aligned to promote equity.

Judy Seltz

Job Titles:
  • Retired
  • Retired Executive Director, ASCD
Judy Seltz retired as Executive Director of ASCD (formerly Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) in 2015. In her 15 years with the Association, she also served as the deputy executive director and chief officer, Constituent Services, directing ASCD's work with its 58 affiliates in the United States and other countries, as well as its programs with Professional Interest Communities, student chapters, and Connected Communities. She was responsible for Association's influence and advocacy initiatives, Whole Child Initiative, and governance. Seltz served for several years as an ASCD regional director, working with constituent groups, in the mid-1990s. Prior to ASCD, she was with the American Association for School Administrators (AASA), where she was associate executive director for Planning and Communications. Prior to joining AASA, Seltz was with International Schools Services in Princeton, New Jersey, working with American international schools overseas. In her eight years with the school board of the Alexandria City (Virginia) Public Schools, Seltz served as member and chair. She is a lawyer and was managing editor of Education of the Handicapped Law Report and The Special Educator, legal publications on special education law. She earned her bachelor's degree from Brandeis University, Ed. M. from Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law.

Karen Pittman - Founder

Job Titles:
  • Co - Founder
  • Director
  • Senior Fellow
  • Forum 's Co - Founder and CEO
Karen has been honored with the National Commission for African American Education Augustus F. Hawkins Service Award (2002), the American Youth Policy Forum Decade of Service Award for Sustained Visionary Leadership in Advancing Youth Policy (2003), the Healthy Teen Network Sprit of Service Award (2007), The Non Profit Times' Power & Influence Top 50 (2009) and was named one of the 25 most influential leaders in Afterschool by the National Afterschool Association. She also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Partners for Livable Cities, joining previous awardees such as President William Clinton and Lady Bird Johnson. Karen Pittman served as the President & CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment until February 2021, then transitioned to a senior fellow role to dedicate more of her time and energy to thought leadership. Karen has made a career of starting organizations and initiatives that promote youth development - including the Forum for Youth Investment, which she co-founded with Merita Irby in 1998. A sociologist and recognized leader in youth development, Karen started her career at the Urban Institute, conducting studies on social services for children and families. She later moved to the Children's Defense Fund, launching its adolescent pregnancy prevention initiatives and helping to create its adolescent policy agenda. In 1990 she became a vice president at the Academy for Educational Development, where she founded and directed the Center for Youth Development and Policy Research and its spin-off, the National Training Institute for Community Youth Work. In 1995 Karen joined the Clinton administration as director of the President's Crime Prevention Council, where she worked with 13 cabinet secretaries to create a coordinated prevention agenda. From there she moved to the executive team of the International Youth Foundation (IYF), charged with helping the organization strengthen its program content and develop an evaluation strategy. In 1998 she and Rick Little, head of the foundation, took a leave of absence to work with ret. Gen. Colin Powell to create America's Promise. Upon her return, she and Irby launched the Forum, which later became an entity separate from IYF.

Katherine Plog Martinez

Job Titles:
  • Senior Consultant
Katherine brings experience at the intersection of k-12 education and positive youth development to her work supporting partnerships and OST programs.

Kathleen Traphagen

Job Titles:
  • Grantmakers for Education

Kelly Young

Job Titles:
  • Education Reimagined

Kimberly Howard Robinson

Job Titles:
  • Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality
  • Executive Vice President of the Forum for Youth Investment
  • Executive Vice President, the Forum for Youth Investment / Managing Director, Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality
Kimberly Howard Robinson, Ph.D., is executive vice president of the Forum for Youth Investment and the managing director of the David. P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality. Prior her to role Robinson served as Program and Evaluation Officer with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, one of the largest private philanthropic institutions in the U.S. Her work focused on developing and implementing continuous improvement processes to support programmatic strategy and effectiveness. Prior to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Dr.Robinson served as Interim Chief Accountability Officer as well as the Director of Research for Baltimore City Public Schools. Prior to Baltimore, she served as the Director of Data and Analytics for the New York City Department of Education. She holds a doctorate from the University of Notre Dame in Developmental Psychology and has more than fifteen years of experience conducting applied research on schools, children and families. Kim works to strengthen programs and practices that nurture the potential of youth with continuous improvement approaches that marry research and practice.

Kimberly Pham

Job Titles:
  • National Activist & Engagement Coordinator, Opportunity Youth United

Kris Minor - COO

Job Titles:
  • Chief Operating Officer
Kris oversees the Forum's external affairs and internal operations: from communications and outreach to human resources, IT and facilities.

Krista Collins

Job Titles:
  • Director, Research and Evaluation
Krista uses research & evaluation opportunities to partner with youth development organizations to identify, understand & communicate their pathways to impact.

LaDonna Lloyd

Job Titles:
  • Project Manager
LaDonna provides technical assistance, fosters & maintains positive relationships, & supports quality improvement initiatives with clients around the country.

Laine Culbreath

Job Titles:
  • Director of Finance & Administration
Laine oversees the accounting functions of the Forum, including producing financials statements, budgeting, grant reporting & making sure the bills get paid.

Larry Pasti

Job Titles:
  • Consultant, Big Picture Approach Training & Consulting
Larry provides support to communities and states interested in bringing the Ready by 21 strategies, solutions and standards into their local work.

Laura Jahromi

Job Titles:
  • Senior Program Manager, Big Picture Approach Training & Consulting
Laura brings extensive on-the-ground experience coordinating & supporting community change efforts to her role managing in-house operations for the BPA team.

Leah Wallace

Job Titles:
  • Portfolio Manager
Leah provides training and technical assistance to Weikart Center clients around the country.

Linda M. Rodríguez

Job Titles:
  • Executive Director, Global Philanthropy

Mary Ellen Wiggins

Job Titles:
  • Director of Policy & Research
Mary Ellen works with stakeholders inside and outside of government to use policy and evaluation as tools to promote equity and help youth thrive.

Merita Irby - EVP, Founder

Job Titles:
  • Co - Founder
  • Executive Vice President
  • Forum 's Co - Founder
Merita is the Forum's co-founder and serves as managing partner of Big Picture Approach Training & Consulting and a coach to state and local partnerships.

Michele Courton Brown

Job Titles:
  • Vice President, Business Development, Blue Cross Blue Shield of

Mishaela Durán - CEO, President

Job Titles:
  • CEO
  • President
Mishaela Durán President & CEO Mishaela serves as President & CEO of the Forum.

Nalini Ravindranath

Job Titles:
  • Grants and Development Manager
Nalini Ravindranath manages the Forum's fund development activities and relationships with funders.

Nancy Duchesneau

Job Titles:
  • Education Trust

Nicole Yohalem

Job Titles:
  • Independent Consultant

Ora Shamley

Job Titles:
  • Finance Specialist
  • Financial Specialist
Ora is a financial specialist, working on accounts payable, accounts receivable, and many other financial matters for the organization.

Paige Kennedy

Job Titles:
  • Learning & Development Specialist
Paige facilitates engaging training sessions that build and strengthen adult skills and provides coaching and technical assistance on CQI efforts.

Paul LaMacchia

Job Titles:
  • Manager, Business Systems
As the Manger of Business Systems at the Forum, Paul oversees our online systems and provides guidance to the users of those systems.

Poonam Borah

Job Titles:
  • Senior Research & Practice Specialist
Poonam primarily works with projects focusing on instructional and management practices, measure validation, and impact studies specifically around SEL.

Pousga Yerbanga

Job Titles:
  • Senior Accountant
Pousga performs account reconciliations, maintains the general ledger, assists with audit preparations, and performs other accounting duties as assigned.

Priscilla Little

Job Titles:
  • Senior Consultant, Big Picture Approach Training & Consulting
Priscilla Little has been working in the education arena and conducting educational research for over twenty years.

Rebecca Goldberg

Job Titles:
  • Independent Consultant
  • Senior Program Officer, S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation

Ross Wiener

Job Titles:
  • Aspen Institute Education & Society Program

Sarah Caverly

Job Titles:
  • American Institutes for Research

Sarah Eicher

Job Titles:
  • Program Associate
Sarah supports various network projects and clients as part of the Field Services team.

Seghen Abebe

Job Titles:
  • Special Projects Associate
Seghen provides direct administrative and programmatic assistance for internal operations and external affairs alongside the COO.

Shanell Harriday

Job Titles:
  • Meetings and Operations Manager
Shanell provides comprehensive meeting planning and logistics management for the Forum's convenings, including the annual Ready by 21 National Meeting.

Steve Fleischman

Job Titles:
  • Board Chair / Managing Member, Change Dynamics, LLC

Thaddeus Ferber

Job Titles:
  • Executive Vice President and Co - Founder, SparkAction
  • Policy
Thaddeus works to promote evidence-based policies that help communities achieve equity for all youth and that incorporate youth voice.

Tom Devaney

Job Titles:
  • Vice President, Business Strategy
Tom oversees the Forum's finance and accounting team and is responsible the organization's contracting, legal and business strategy functions.

Trevor Davies

Job Titles:
  • Senior Manager, Technical Assistance and Coaching Support Services ( TACSS )
Trevor provides coaching and consulting services to the Weikart Center's clients, including Michigan's 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CLCs).