consultant bios

Kris Berger

Kris has worked in New York City's nonprofit sector for more than ten years and has extensive experience designing, implementing, and directing innovative programs that meet critical community needs. Most recently, Kris was the Director of Program Development at New York Cares, where she served as a member of the organizations senior management team and was responsible for directing efforts to mobilize more than 2500 volunteers each month on meaningful and impactful community service projects. Prior to joining New York Cares, Kris was the Assistant Director of Education at the New York Academy of Sciences, where her projects included a successful summer science research internship and academic enrichment program for New York City high school students.

She has developed and written many successful grant proposals; worked with public schools and community based organizations to identify and assess resource needs and to create programs that meet these needs; built sustainable public-private partnerships; designed and managed large-scale (500+ individuals) corporate volunteer events; and managed strategic planning processes.

In addition, Kris has considerable expertise in the area of volunteer program design, development, and implementation, and has worked with schools and nonprofit organizations to identify appropriate volunteer needs and develop strategies to meet these needs as well as with corporations who wish to mobilize employees to "give back" on short- or long-term projects.

In 1998, while the Director of Program Development at New York Cares, Kris created and launched the Partners in Technology Program (PITP), one of the first initiatives in New York City to address Digital Divide issues in the nonprofit and education community. During the programs first two years of operation, volunteers with technology expertise shared their knowledge and skills with more than 50 nonprofit organizations and schools to build computer labs; install computer networks; train staff and clients; and create state-of-the-art websites and databases. In 2001, the PITP was nationally replicated to six additional cities.

Kris holds a Masters Degree in Sociology of Education and Education Policy (1995) from Columbia Universitys Teachers College, and BA degrees in History and Political Science (1990) from Northwestern University.

Jeff Birdsall, M.A.


Jeff is a consultant, educator and trainer in the areas of leadership development, non-profit management, youth programs, service-learning and residential environmental and outdoor education programs. He has led trainings, workshops and provided keynote presentations for national service programs, state commissions and non-profits throughout the country. Jeff strives to facilitate volunteers, staff and students' personal, intellectual and spiritual development in their journeys to become effective, caring and responsible citizens and leaders in their communities. Jeff resides in Seattle, Washington and in addition to his on-going training and consulting work, currently serves as an adjunct instructor in Brown University's Leadership Institute.

Over the past seventeen years Jeff has worked as an experiential educator and program director in a variety of learning communities including environmental education centers, outdoor leadership programs, community-based urban service-learning programs, rural residential programs, higher education institutions, and AmeriCorps projects. Recently, he directed two AmeriCorps programs, The Northwest Service Academy and The Youth Volunteer Corps, as well as co-founded a youth service program, The Wilderness Volunteer Corps.

Jeff holds a Master's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies: Service-Learning from Naropa University (2003), where he helped to create a new service-learning center, and a B.S. in Environmental Education from Lesley University/Audubon Expedition Institute (1989).

Frances Caulfield, M.S.


For over 20 years, Fran has provided professional development to the New York City public school community through curriculum design and instruction, leadership training, and comprehensive educational plan development and implementation.

Fran has served in numerous capacities within the New York City Department of Education as a teacher, Assistant high school Director, and Project Coordinator for the Manhattan High School Superintendent's office. As an educational consultant, Fran has worked to build and sustain effective school partnerships and programs supporting administrators, teachers, and students.

Her expertise and experience includes:

  • Assessing professional development needs, both department-specific and school-wide; for teachers, support staff and principals/assistant principals
  • Designing programs and writing curricula that support integration, and interdisciplinary instruction
  • Working with New York City high schools on the development and implementation of Comprehensive Educational Plans
  • Partnership building between schools and external partners
  • Facilitating cabinet initiatives such as school-wide professional development plans, school tone and culture initiatives, redesigning faculty conference formats
  • Personal coaching for principals, assistant principals and district personnel
  • Program design
  • Project management

Fran holds a Masters Degree in Elementary Education from Hunter College.

Helena Duch, Psy.D.


Helena is a child psychologist with over 10 years of experience nationally and internationally in the areas of childhood education and mental health. Her areas of expertise include early childhood policy, mental health and educational consultation, curriculum development, teacher training and program evaluation.

Helena has extensive experience working with Head Start and Early Head Start programs, in center-based and home-based settings as part of her appointment with the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She has coordinated and supervised mental health services for pregnant women, infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their families at Columbia University Head Start and Early Head Start for almost 8 years. She also trains Columbia University public health students and family medicine residents as part of their child development training.  In 2000, Helena received a grant from the Federal Administration on Children, Youth and Families to conduct a two-year research study on the mental health of Hispanic Head Start Children and their families.

Internationally, Helena has worked for UNICEF in South Asia and for their Child Friendly Schools Project around the world, the World Bank in Russia, Childhope in Brazil and in Sri Lanka as a part of a task force from Mount Sinai Hospital training first responders in trauma interventions for young children affected by the Tsunami

Helena is currently involved in the evaluation of Getting Ready for School, a parent-child literacy and numeracy curriculum designed for parents of children 4-7 years old. Developed by Open Society Institute and the Step by Step Association, Getting Ready for School has been implemented in over 20 countries in central Europe, the former Soviet Union and Latin America. In the US, it is being pioneered at Columbia University Head Start.

Nationally, Helena has worked in New York City Public schools, foster care agencies, early intervention settings , Bellevue Hospital and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, providing direct services to children and families. She has expertise in the areas of psychological, neuropsychological and educational assessment, consultation and direct intervention with children in group, individual and family therapy.

Helena has extensive background in program evaluation and research and works as senior evaluation consultant for Owen Consulting Inc., leading multi-site evaluations of 21st CCLC funded after-school programs in New York City Public schools amongst other projects.

Helena holds a Master's degree in Developmental Psychology from Teacher’s College – Columbia University (1998), a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from New York University (2000) and completed her doctoral degree in Child/School Psychology at New York University in June 2005. She is a native Spanish speaker, and is fluent in English, French, and Italian.

Julie Geisler


Julie brings over fourteen years of professional development and non-profit management experience to Owen Consulting. Her expertise includes program and fiscal oversight, training and technical assistance, youth job training and workforce development programs, community service management, and team building and leadership development for corporate and non-profit professionals.

Julie's clients have included AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America, the National Senior Service Corps, the Central Park Conservancy, Studio in a School, Chelsea Piers, Youth Service Opportunities Project, the Catholic Network of Volunteer Service, and ETR Associates. She has conducted training sessions in topic areas such as program planning and management, staff training, time management, recruitment and retention, leadership, teambuilding, and communication. Julie has developed training manuals and evaluation resources for numerous organizations and coordinated conferences, workshops, and events nationwide.

Sonia Gugga, Ph.D.


Sonia Gugga is a psychometrician and statistician with over ten years' experience in the fields of cognitive and clinical psychology and education. She has consulted with organizations and academic researchers by designing studies and analyzing data in both experimental and non-experimental contexts, and has taught courses in statistics and cognitive psychology. Her current work as a measurement scientist involves designing methodology for evaluating institutional effectiveness with respect to teaching and learning in higher education, which involves working closely with faculty and senior administration across all academic disciplines.

Sonia has extensive experience designing measures and survey instruments, evaluating them for validity both psychometrically and conceptually, and has contributed to a number of publications by expressing sophisticated statistical concepts in practical language. With respect to statistical analyses, she has evaluated outcomes on several national multi-site studies in clinical psychology and psychiatry while serving in a Research Unit on Pediatric Psychopharmacology (RUPP), and has presented the resulting models to on-site meetings of principle investigators at the National Institute of Mental Health.

Sonia holds a PhD in Evaluation and Measurement and an MS in Applied Statistics from Columbia University, and a BA in English and Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. She has received numerous awards and fellowships, including the 2000 Sindlinger Prize for the best student paper at Columbia University Teachers College.

John Harris, Ed.M.


John brings more than 15 years of evaluation and research experience to his work with Owen Consulting, primarily in the areas of mentoring and violence prevention. His experience as a teacher and counselor serving urban and rural at-risk youth strongly influences his approach to research. John specializes in action research, instrument development, and the integration of quantitative and qualitative methods to provide the most robust insight on the programs he studies.

John has consulted to a variety of school- and community-based programs but maintains a primary research focus on mentoring. His mentoring research centers on relationship quality, how it varies across mentoring models, and how it influences psychosocial and academic outcomes. He is enthusiastically pursuing an initiative to extend rigorous evaluation to programs that are currently underrepresented in existing research. His vision for mentoring research, already realized in part through development of nationally respected measures of relationship quality, is to develop measurable standards of mentoring relationship quality that may be applied across mentoring programs and approaches.

John holds s a master's in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Louis Hernandez, Ed.D.


Louis has been working with at risk adolescents and their families for over twenty-five years. He has worked in a broad range of educational, counseling, and youth development settings, including the New York City public school system, Bellevue Hospital, and the New York City Outward Bound Center.

For the past thirteen years, Louis has served as a building-wide school guidance counselor in NYC public schools, where he works with at-risk adolescents and their families. He provides individual, group, and family counseling, networks with community resources, facilitates workshops for parents and teachers, conducts after school programs, and manages extensive crisis intervention services.

Louis has an extensive background in adventure-based and experiential youth programming. Over the years he has designed, coordinated and led numerous adventure education programs for inner-city at-risk adolescents, including ten-day bicycle tours in Massachusetts and the Delaware Water Gap. He incorporates his counseling/teaching skills in an after school rock-climbing program, as well as "Healthy Options," a martial-arts-based youth development program. Louis has also trained teachers in experiential education as part of an Outward Bound/UFT professional development program. In addition to experience-based learning, Hernandez's teaching and therapeutic methodology incorporates diagnostic, holistic, and behavioral approaches.

Hernandez's credentials include training in RET, behavior modification, 12 Step, conflict mediation, trauma counseling, family systems, and experiential education. He holds a Masters in Bilingual Special Education from Fordham University with a focus in teaching emotionally handicapped, socially maladjusted and learning disabled students. He attained a second Masters in Educational Guidance and a post degree in Marriage and Family Counseling with a concentration in alcoholism and chemical dependency. Louis is currently completing a doctoral dissertation in group counseling.

Jimmy Jung, Ph.D.

Jimmy is an educational psychologist with 20 years of experience in K-12 and higher education, with a passion for using predictive analytics to improve student and organizational outcomes. His areas of expertise include program evaluation, advanced statistical modelling, policy development, and strategic planning.

Over the course of his career, Jimmy has served as program evaluator for the New York City Department of Education, focusing on dual-language, literacy, and summer programs. He has also worked as a director of planning and assessment at Baruch College, conducting research on student transition from high school to college. More recently, he has served in executive-level positions at the The College of Brockport, the University of Maine, and New Jersey City University. Some of the programs that he has developed and implemented include, mentoring for first-generation students, assessing and addressing the social emotional factors related to college success, and increasing financial funding for low-income students. 

His expertise has made him a highly sought-after consultant to non-profit organizations nationally and internationally on using data to improve policies and outcomes. In addition, Jimmy has held faculty appointments at New Jersey City University, the University Maine, Baruch College, and Hunter College, where he served on dissertation committees, developed research grant proposals, and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in education, statistics, and psychology.

Rebecca Koldaycz, M.A.

Rebecca is an evaluation consultant with over ten years of experience conducting evaluations and carrying out social research. She has considerable experience training staff in designing and implementing monitoring and evaluation plans, as well as experience writing and editing evaluation reports and presenting findings to various stakeholders. Her expertise is in qualitative and quantitative research methods, including designing evaluations, developing surveys, conducting observations and individual and focus group interviews, and performing statistical analyses. She is a strong advocate of a participatory, utilization-focused approach to program evaluation.

Rebecca has extensive knowledge of international adolescent sexual and reproductive health programs, youth development issues, teen pregnancy prevention programs, and national education initiatives. She currently serves as Senior Evaluation Officer at International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region, where she provides evaluation technical assistance in sexual and reproductive health programs throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

As a Research Associate with Metis Associates, she was the project manager and principal evaluator of numerous grant-funded programs in public elementary and middle schools, including family literacy, conflict resolution and violence prevention, bilingual education, parent involvement, arts education, and after school youth development programs in New York City and nationally. Prior to that, she was the Evaluation Manager for the Monroe Council on Teen Pregnancy, where she developed and initiated procedures for evaluating local teen pregnancy prevention programs in Rochester, New York, and coordinated efforts of Council members, evaluation consultants, pregnancy prevention staff, Community Organizers, and others on research issues. She has also conducted research in Tamil Nadu, India, on marriage patterns, household composition and the changing nature of the caste system.

Rebecca holds a master of arts in social anthropology from the University of Rochester and is fluent in Spanish.

Clinton Lacey


Clinton has over 25 years of experience working with youth and families - 19 of which have been focused in the field of juvenile and criminal justice. From 1992 to 2004, Clinton served as the Associate Executive Director of Friends of Island Academy, developing and managing services for 16 to 24 year olds involved in the juvenile and criminal justice systems of New York City.

Following his tenure at Friends of Island Academy, Clinton served as the Director of the Youth Justice Program at Vera Institute of Justice. There, he oversaw a technical assistance project focused on the reform of New York State’s juvenile justice policies. At Vera, he also led an initiative to develop and improve collaborative relationships between communiy based youth advocates and system based juvenile justice officials from various jurisdictions around the nation.

In June, 2006, Clinton joined the W. Haywood Burns Institute as a Project Manager working in several jurisdictions around the nation with stakeholders engaged in the Burns Institute process of addressing racial disparities in local juvenile justice systems. In this capacity Clinton had the opportunity to train and collaborate with a cross section of stakeholders, including judges, probation officials, prosecutors, public defenders, educators, advocates, community organizers and the court involved youth and families themselves.

Clinton recently joined the New York City Department of Probation as the Deputy Commissioner for adult operations. In this capacity he is responsible for oversight of a division that supervises some 27,000 clients on probation and is leading a series of innovative initiatives to design to reform the Probation Department’s key policies and practices.

Clinton is an experienced trainer, facilitator and keynote speaker on such issues as DMC, racial & ethnic disparity, transitional discharge planning, comprehensive re-entry services, gang intervention strategies and overall youth & human development. He has conducted training workshops and delivered lectures around the nation, as well as in Brazil and Barbados. Clinton has a B.A. in Latin American and Caribbean History from Herbert H. Lehman College (City University of New York) and is a graduate of the Institute for Not-for- Profit Management at Columbia University. Clinton is married and the father of two sons and a daughter.

Candace Mayer LaRue, MA

Candace has been successfully supporting organizations to meet their programming and development needs for the past three decades. She is a published author, facilitator, consultant and administrator with nearly thirty years experience in the private, non-profit and governmental sectors.  Candace has won millions of dollars for clients through successful grant writing at the local, State and federal levels, has served as a peer reviewer for federal grants and has successfully designed and implemented peer review processes at the State level.  Her experience also includes contract oversight and reporting, program development, and development of resources and training for programs serving youth and communities. Candace has a Masters degree in Social Policy from the State University of New York and holds a variety of credentials including having completed training as a trainer in the Finance Project’s Sustainability Planning Process. 

Ed Leibman

For more than 15 years, Ed has raised millions of dollars for non-profit organizations including the Public Theater, New York Botanical Garden, National Institute For Reproductive Health, Bellevue Hospital Center, Playwrights Horizons, Theater Communications Group, and The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation.
Throughout his career, Ed has excelled in unlocking hidden potential in the donor bases of the organizations he has served. A creative thinker, his entrepreneurial approach to fundraising often breaks the mold of convention. Ed specializes in major gifts, board development, corporate sponsorship, and campaign strategy.

Jeff Lischin, M.A.

Jeff is a grant writer and education consultant with extensive charter school experience in many states. He is the former Vice President for Education and Youth Development at the Urban League of Hudson County (NJ). Jeff writes $1-$15 million in approved grants annually and has written or co-written over 15 approved charter school applications in five states. Jeff developed a Charter School Founders’ Manual that has been published in two editions – a NJ specific edition published by the NJ Charter School Resource Center and a MD specific edition published by the MD Charter School Network. As a consultant, Jeffrey Lischin writes charter school applications; provides design, development and technical assistance for charter schools; prepares grant applications; provides evaluation services; does funding opportunity research, project planning, and program design/development services. Areas of concentration include education, employment training, at-risk youth, social services, daycare, after-school programs, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, services for the homeless, community-based non-profit organizations, charter schools, YouthBuild, AmeriCorps, school-to-work, and welfare-to-work.

Maeve Powlick, Ph.D.

Maeve has worked with public schools and districts, community-based organizations, and government agencies as a consultant for 10 years. For six of those years, she was also a full-time faculty member at Skidmore College, teaching interdisciplinary courses in research methodology (Participatory Action Research, Geographic Information Systems, and Statistics), Economics, Gender Studies, and Mathematics. As part of her dissertation research on the role of young people as actors and agents of change in economic development at the community level, she taught a year-long course on Participatory Action Research at Harvey Milk High School, a New York City Transfer School.

Upon completing her PhD in 2011, Dr. Powlick moved to consulting work full-time in order to work directly on youth and community development. Her consulting work has focused on building effective partnerships across sectors, incorporating data collection and analysis into program practice at all levels of program operation (including direct service as well as program administration and leadership), and continually improving program approaches through data and input from youth, parents, and other stakeholders. With many years of experience in direct work with youth, she has provided professional development workshops for numerous school- and CBO-run after school programs in collaboration with the Partnership for After School Programming. She has worked on evaluations of more than 40 school and center based program sites, using a collaborative, mixed-method approach to evaluation, and is currently co-principal investigator on the evaluation of both the New York City and Rest of State 21st Century Community Learning Center Technical Assistance Resource Centers.

Maeve worked with the DOE Office of Student Support Services and six Community School Districts to provide professional development, coaching, and needs assessment reports to 27 NYC public schools. She worked with transfer school partner Wediko Children’s Services to facilitate discussions that included a diverse and multi-lingual group – including youth, parents, CBO staff, teachers, and administrators – to create a consensus-based logic model for Wediko’s work with the New Directions transfer school. Working with NYCDOE Office of Students in Temporary Housing, she has brought together diverse groups of stakeholders to identify common outcomes for homeless youth and strategies for improving data collection and use of data in decision-making City-wide. In the past three years, she has worked with community-based organizations and school districts to write and lead teams to write more than $50,000,000 in funded grant applications at the local, state, and federal level. 

Kirsten Richert M.Ed.

Kirsten is an innovation expert who consults with business and non-profit leaders on transforming results. She draws upon her experience in three core disciplines—business management, ideation methodology, and facilitation—to help clients make breakthroughs in strategic planning and communications. Formerly Vice President of Product Management and Marketing at Pearson, the world’s leading educational textbook publisher, Kirsten oversaw the creation of breakthrough “digital-first” K-12 curriculum. With 25 years of experience in developing curriculum for schools, Kirsten can help clients think through a holistic teaching and learning ecosystem—including providing academic content, addressing social-emotional skills, tracking standards, delivering on platforms, meeting diverse student needs, supporting teacher readiness, and achieving administrator requirements. She brings this depth of knowledge to help organizations in defining and delivering educational programs and services.

As an innovation consultant, Kirsten helps teams plan new efforts, generate ideas, and execute on strategies. For more than 10 years, Kirsten has taught SIT methodology—Systematic Inventive Thinking is a step-by-step innovation process developed in Israel in the mid-1990s derived from Genrich Altshuller’s TRIZ engineering discipline. These methods have been successfully used in many corporate environments as a practical and effective approach to creativity, innovation, and problem solving. As an example, Kirsten used SIT methods to lead a 2-day innovation lab to create a new program concept for McGraw Hill Education that won high praise and fast-track funding approval from their senior management. Kirsten has also worked on change efforts with many nonprofit organizations, especially in the areas of education and human development. Kirsten recently lead Strategic Planning Processes for Alliance for Arts and Health New Jersey, The Community Chest, and The Barat Foundation. In this type of planning work, Kirsten provides structured facilitation that ensures effective participation and long term buy-in, including collaborative work sessions and implementation planning with team members, cross-functional experts, and stakeholders.

Kirsten brings 3 key strengths to the table: an intense drive to make progress toward an organization’s mission, a demonstrated ability to foster collaboration that solves problems and creates new products, and a real-world focus on revenue growth, efficiency improvements, and communications excellence. Kirsten received her undergraduate degree in Social Sciences from Hampshire College and her master’s degree in Education from Teacher’s College at Columbia University. She is passionately interested in programs/projects that expand our abilities to differentiate instruction, support students with special needs, and develop social-emotional skills.

Nitika Tolani, Ph.D.

Nitika holds a B.A. in English and a B.S. in Psychology from Santa Clara University, as well as an M.A. in Applied Psychology from Columbia University, where her research and training focused on the critical role of public policy in shaping the lives of low-income families. She earned her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology (with a concentration in International Education Policy) from Columbia University in 2007. In addition to her doctoral work, Nitika was a Graduate Research Fellow at the National Center for Children and Families (NCCF), co-directed by Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Ph.D. and Sharon Lynn Kagan, Ed.D.

Over the past 10 years, Nitika has participated in large-scale qualitative and quantitative studies at every level, including grantwriting and budget development, research design and implementation, management of data collection activities, and synthesis and publication of results. She has taken numerous classes in advanced research methods and statistics, including psychological assessment, applied econometrics (e.g. cost -benefit analyses), latent structure analysis and hierarchical linear modeling, in order to learn to investigate the complex processes of child development through empirical research. In addition, her professional experiences at The World Bank, UNICEF-India and Metis Associates, an independent educational consulting organization, have provided her with significant project management and supervisory experience.

Nitika's main interests lie in conducting policy-oriented research focusing on the influences of families and communities on the development of children and families across socioeconomic status and ethnicity. Specifically, she is interested in how families, peers, and communities affect the health and development of marginalized children and youth, and how researchers and educators can use empirical data to develop prevention and intervention programs and social policies that promote resiliency. Nitika has conducted research on youth mentoring programs, alternative educational interventions for adolescents, and early childhood education programs (i.e. Head Start) both in the United States and abroad. She presents regularly at national and international conferences on topics related to the sociology of education.

Anne Troy


Anne has worked extensively in non-profit fundraising and management including serving as Director of Development for the Mayor’s Office of New York, creative supervisor on the Met Life Snoopy campaign, and Executive Director and Director of Development in both social services and classical music.

Her professional accomplishments include launching the first school in a homeless shelter in the US, launching the first housing in NYC and Harlem targeted to low-income people with AIDS, launching a computer training program for children living in 50 public housing developments across the 5 boroughs, raising corporate sponsorships for Yankee parades and for refurbishing City Hall, launching a public school for youth newly released from jail, launching a soup kitchen serving 12,000 meals per month, and assisting in raising over $100 million for the Twin Towers Fund.

Anne’s proposals have received significant funding and highest scores at every level of public sector funding including the US Department of Labor, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Education Department, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene/Division of AIDS Services, NYS Council for the Arts, and NYC Department of Youth and Community Development. Since 2007 Anne has helped Owen Consulting’s clients win more than $17,000,000 in City, State, and Federal funding for education, social service, and after school initiatives.

Dario Veraldi


Dario has been teaching adventure education to at-risk youth since 1992. With a background in environmental science, Dario worked in the Education Department of the Central Park Conservancy teaching urban park ecology before moving into experiential education. Dario was instrumental in developing the Park's adventure-based youth programs, including Ascent, a multi-day climbing and leadership program for at-risk adolescents.

Trained by Project Adventure, Dario's professional experience has included program and facility management, consulting, professional development, course design and instruction, and years of direct service work with youth from under-served communities. Dario is also a certified Wilderness First Responder and New York State Licensed Rock Climbing Guide. A native Argentine, Dario is bilingual, and has climbed extensively in Patagonia as well as the North Eastern United States.

Emily West, Ph.D.


Emily is a senior evaluation consultant with over 10 years of research and evaluation experience within the social service and educational sectors. Emily has extensive experience with survey design, conducting focus groups & administering surveys, performing advanced data analysis, writing reports & presenting findings, as well as providing needs assessments to clients regarding how best to organize, collect and present program and participant data.

Emily's professional and academic background covers a broad array of research areas including youth development (teen pregnancy prevention and juvenile delinquency), education (after-school programs, evaluation of summer school in the New York City public school system, use of technology in the classroom, etc.) and crime policy (prisoner re-entry, reducing recidivism, restorative justice, and crime prevention). Emily has worked for Owen Consulting on numerous evaluation projects for educational, mentoring, and social service youth programs operating at public schools and community-based organizations.

Emily holds a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in sociology and criminology, with a focus on sociology of the family and juvenile delinquency. Her dissertation examined how key family, peer, and school factors influence youths' involvement in the criminal justice system.

Shelly Wimpfheimer, DSW


With more than three decades of executive experience in both the public and private sectors, Dr. Shelly Wimpfheimer is intimately acquainted with all aspects of managing both large and small organizations.

Most recently Shelly served as the Executive Director of PASE, the Partnership for After School Education, a professional development and technical assistance agency based in NYC and serving the afterschool community.  She joined PASE in September of 2007 after having served as the Vice President of Youth and Family Services of the YMCA of Greater New York, the largest YMCA in the country.  In that position, which she held for 11 years, she designed, implemented and evaluated numerous programs throughout YMCAs in New York City.  In addition, she served as a consultant to the YMCA of the USA, assisting in the conceptualization and development of youth and family programs nationally. 

Prior to joining the YMCA Shelly served as the Executive Director of the Division of Family Guidance, in Bergen County, New Jersey, for 16 years. This public multi-service agency served young people and families with special needs through 20 different programs, ranging from secure detention, to substance abuse, to sex offender treatment.  During this period Shelly served on numerous statewide committees and task forces dealing with youth and family issues throughout New Jersey. 

Shelly has taught on the undergraduate and graduate levels and has conducted numerous staff development programs for personnel from many nonprofit agencies.  In recent years she has served as an instructor and mentor to agency directors and program managers in various agency settings.  Among her areas of interest are:  leadership development, emotional intelligence in the workplace, addressing the social and emotional climate in nonprofit agencies, board development, senior executive consultation and other topics associated with the sensitive and efficient management of agencies.  She is currently an adjunct professor at the Columbia School of Social Work where she is teaching in the Social Enterprise Administration sequence.

Shelly has served in many leadership positions in professional organizations. She was president of the National Network for Social Work Managers, a national board member of the National Association of Social Workers and the state president of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

As a community volunteer she has served as a board member of Bergen Family Center, a local family service agency in New Jersey, the Association for Children of New Jersey, former president of the Hackensack Ridgewood Zonta Club and various other local organizations.

Shelly has a DSW from Hunter College School of Social Work in Program Design and Administration, an MSS from Bryn Mawr School of Social Work and Social Research in Social Work Administration and Planning and a BA from Penn State University in Liberal Arts.  She also completed institute training in family therapy at the Center for Family Learning in New Rochelle, New York.