Our Leadership

Organization Leaders

Joan Cole Duffell

Joan Cole Duffell, Executive Director

Over the past 30 years, Joan Cole Duffell has been an educator, writer, and leading advocate for positive outcomes for children, focusing on promoting children’s social and emotional skills and the prevention of child abuse, bullying, and other forms of violence.

Following her years teaching in a therapeutic program for abused children, she led Committee for Children’s U.S. marketing and outreach efforts from 1983 to 2002. During this time she developed partnerships with organizations across Europe, Asia, and Latin America in order to bring culturally adapted editions of the Second Step program to children and families across the globeread more

She also advised numerous Catholic dioceses and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in their efforts to implement research-based sexual abuse prevention programs in order to establish safe environments for children in their care. After 2002 her work focused primarily on expanding national and global partnerships. She accepted the position of Executive Director in 2007. In this role she has led the organization to place an emphasis on integrating program offerings, collaboration among colleagues, and higher-level issue advocacy in order to advance commonly shared goals. She serves on the board of directors of several nonprofits focused on education, early learning, and child well-being; was co-chair of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, & Emotional Learning’s (CASEL) Program Provider Council; and co-chairs the Public Awareness Committee of the National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse. She received the Superhero for Washington Families Award from ParentMap magazine in 2010, as well as the Jack Morris, SJ, Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in 2013.

She is particularly passionate about Committee for Children “walking the talk” of social-emotional learning in its internal workings and its advocacy and partnership among colleague organizations in order to fully realize the organization’s vision: “Safe Children Thriving in a Peaceful World.”


John Hults

John Hults, Chief Operating Officer

As chief operating officer, John Hults manages Committee for Children’s strategic planning from a business and operations standpoint. With experience as a leader of strategic business partnerships and chief financial officer at Global Scholar, John brings a strong finance and operations background to the team. Before joining Committee for Children, John founded two successful digital imaging companies, Azul Images and Blue Jean Images, which operated in international markets. John’s previous positions include director of financial analysis and process at McCaw Cellular/ATT Wireless and vice president of financial planning and analysis at Getty Images.

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, Chief Technology Officer

After initially bringing his technology, managerial, and business expertise to Committee for Children’s New Mission Ventures Task Force as an advisor, Mike Harrington moved into the Chief Technology Officer role. Mike’s experience spans several successful tech companies including Microsoft, where he worked as a software developer and manager, and Google, where he worked following the acquisition of his photo-editing company, Picnik. Additionally, Mike co-founded gaming company Valve and Catnip Labs. A leader in technology strategy, Mike brings a strong engineering, leadership, and entrepreneurial background to the organization as CTO.

Tia Kim

Tia Kim, PhD, Director of Programs, Partnerships, and Research

Tia Kim leads the development and evaluation of Committee for Children’s programs. She is committed to enhancing their quality, effectiveness, and reach through innovation, partnerships, and rigorous continuous improvement processes.

Dr. Kim received her doctorate in developmental psychology at the University of California, Riverside, and completed three years of post-doctoral training at the Academic Center of Excellence on Youth Violence Prevention where her research focused on the etiology and prevention of youth violence and aggression. read more

She served as an Assistant Professor in the department of Human Development and Family Studies at Penn State, Brandywine, for three years before taking her current position at Committee for Children.


Lyscha Marcynyszyn

Lyscha Marcynyszyn, PhD, Senior Research Scientist

Lyscha Marcynyszyn designs, implements, and manages evaluation studies on education and prevention programs. She is passionate about conducting applied research that can mitigate risk factors and improve life-course outcomes for children and youth.

Dr. Marcynyszyn received her doctorate in Developmental Psychology from the Department of Human Development at Cornell University, where her graduate work focused on child development in the context of adversityread more

She has authored over a dozen peer-reviewed publications on topics ranging from family instability to the effectiveness of parenting programs delivered in child welfare settings. Prior to her current role at Committee for Children she worked for five years as a Research Analyst for Casey Family Programs.


Brian Smith

Brian Smith, PhD, Senior Research Scientist

Dr. Smith received his doctorate in Social Welfare from the University of Washington where he studied prevention science and focused his research on the development and evaluation of interventions to promote positive youth development and prevent youth problems. Before that he spent eight years working as a counselor and social worker in K–12 schools. Since 2005 he has been a Research Scientist at Committee for Children, where he works on developing and evaluating school-based social-emotional learning programs.

Mia Doces

Mia Doces, MEd, Director of New Mission Ventures

Mia Doces is exploring new avenues for broadening Committee for Children’s mission impact. Prior to this role, she worked for seven years with the talented research and development team in creating Committee for Children’s social-emotional learning and anti-bullying curricula and trainings. She works on state- and national-level youth initiatives, serving on the Washington State legislative anti-bullying work group and advising organizations such as Sesame Workshopand the Born This Way Foundation on bullying prevention and social-emotional learning.read more

Ms. Doces holds a BA from Vassar College and a master of education from Western Washington University. She has 15 years of media production experience with an emphasis on educational media, and her work was recognized with a 2011 CINE Golden Eagle award.

Ms. Doces worked for five years in Seattle Public Schools as a teacher and school counselor. From 2007–2011, she co-chaired Prevention Works in Seattle, a Drug Free Communities coalition.


Bridgid Normand1

Bridgid Normand, MEd, Program Development Manager

Bridgid Normand has been a teacher, school counselor, child and family therapist, parent educator, and community prevention specialist. Since 2001, she has been a program developer at Committee for Children. She works with a team of other developers and researchers to create research-based programs that teach self-regulation and social and emotional skills to children in developmentally and culturally appropriate ways. She led the organization’s revision of its comprehensive prevention program for elementary school students: Second Step: Skills for Social and Academic Success. She has recently been the lead developer for the Second Step Child Protection Unit.read more

Bridgid holds a BA with honors in European Studies from the University of East Anglia, a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of London, and a master of education from the University of Washington.

Bridgid’s career has been dedicated to helping children thrive in every area of their lives. She is committed to finding effective ways for every child to learn a core set of social and emotional skills that give them the chance to succeed in school, in their relationships, and throughout their lives.


Andrea Lovanhill

Andrea Lovanhill, Director of Marketing and Client Relations

Andrea Lovanhill has worked for Committee for Children since 2007. She oversees all aspects of client and product support for and marketing of the Second Step program. Andrea holds a masters in communications in digital media from the University of Washington. She has been working in the field of social-emotional learning for more than eight years and in nonprofit management for more than 10 years. Her past experience includes working with nonprofit organizations and schools to build products and marketing campaigns designed to engage kids and families in conservation, social-emotional learning, bullying prevention, and child safety.read more

Her academic and career focus is on how nonprofit and social enterprises can build digital experiences and use other technology to improve their own products and help schools boost social-emotional competencies.


Kelsie Longbrake

Kelsie Longbrake, Director of Finance and Operations

As the Director of Finance and Operations, Kelsie Longbrake contributes to high level day-to-day and strategic operations while also overseeing the company’s finances, facilities, operations, human resources, and warehouse. Kelsie is a key leader on the management team and a valuable team member on the board finance committee. read more

She has worked for Committee for Children since 1998, beginning as an accountant then taking on multiple management positions before moving into her current role as Director of Finance and Operations. Kelsie holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from City University of Seattle and has over 20 years of experience in the field.


Board of Directors

Paige Hamack, President

Paige Hamack, CPA, is an accounting and financial reporting expert who has worked with global companies of all sizes. She is a consultant with Camber Consulting LLC, where she focuses on helping growth-stage companies establish accounting and financial reporting policies and processes. READ MORE

Before she joined Camber Consulting, Ms. Hamack was Director of External Reporting and then Director of Finance for Microsoft Corporation. Previously, Ms. Hamack performed accounting roles at Getty Images, Inc., Tektronix, Inc., and Deloitte & Touche LLP. Ms. Hamack holds a CPA license from the state of Oregon and a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. She joined the board in 2009.


Susan H. Willis, MD, Vice President

Dr. Susan Willis is a child and adolescent psychiatrist with over twenty years of clinical experience in a solo practice. She served as a psychiatric consultant for Youthcare’s Bridge Program for sexually exploited youth and 45th Street Clinic’s Homeless Youth Program. Dr. Willis is active in the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine and the American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. READ MORE

She holds a BA from Mount Holyoke College and an MD from University of Connecticut School of Medicine. She completed her residency in psychiatry and a child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and is double board certified in adult general psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry.


Yoko Miyashita, JD, Secretary

Yoko Miyashita is an intellectual property attorney currently serving as in-house counsel for Getty Images, an international digital media company.Before she joined Getty Images, Ms. Miyashita was an associate with Perkins Coie LLP, where she worked with the Business and Technology Group and served as pro-bono counsel for Committee for Children. READ MORE

Ms. Miyashita received her juris doctorate from the University of Washington School of Law and her bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley. Ms. Miyashita is the mother of two young children. She joined the board in 2008.


Jonas K. Simonis, Treasurer

Jonas K. Simonis is principal of Jonas K. Simonis Consulting, which specializes in railroad operations and management. He works with clients in such areas as operations, marketing, strategic planning, supervision, project management, problem solving, staffing, budgeting, cost control, and information systems. READ MORE

As a consultant, he has conducted management communication studies, designed and assisted in the implementation of an operation accountability system, and testified as an expert witness on railroad operations. Before starting his firm, Mr. Simonis worked for Burlington Northern Railroad in a variety of roles including service director–automotive and machinery, and superintendent–corridor management. Mr. Simonis joined the board in 2000.


John Andrews

John Andrews, a long-time leader in sales management, currently serves as vice president of International and Channel Sales at Daptiv, a global provider of project portfolio management (PPM) solutions for business execution. Andrews works closely with international partners to oversee sales of Daptiv’s on-demand software-as-service, closing sales with key accounts including Bombardier, Carrier Transcode Europe, Grant Thornton UK, and Maersk Oil Qatar. Previously, he served as vice president of Sales at Stratera Northwest after many successful years in sales leadership in the high-tech market. READ MORE

He’s active in many community organizations and has served as president of the Madison Park Community Council, president and treasurer of the Bellevue Pony Baseball League, a member of the finance committee of the Seattle Tennis Club, and treasurer of the Bellevue High School Baseball Booster Club. He currently volunteers with Year Up Puget Sound and is a member of several investment groups.


Joanna Gubas

Joanna Gubas is a marketing professional with broad experience in the education and family services fields. She is currently at the University of Washington, providing marketing strategy for a range of graduate programs for professionals, the BA in Early Childhood and Family Services, UW in the High School, and UW Summer Youth programs. READ MORE

Until recently, Ms. Gubas held the position of marketing and events director at ParentMap Media. Ms. Gubas led ParentMap’s Lecture Series featuring top psychologists, education events, and community partnerships. Previously she managed enrollments at Study Dynamics LLC, an educational consultancy that provided research-based study and organizational skills for teens. Earlier in her career, Ms. Gubas was part of the management team that launched Getty Images, where she held the position of creative research and planning director. Ms. Gubas has a BA (Hons) in Business Management and professional market research qualifications from the Market Research Society (UK). She joined the board in 2011.


Gail M. Houck, PhD, RN

Gail M. Houck is a professor and chair of Family and Child Nursing at the University of Washington. Previously she served as a professor and program … read more director of the PhD, MPH, and post-master DNP programs at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, following a long and esteemed career of teaching, research, and practice as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. Much of her research has focused on family and child health and related outcomes. READ MORE

She’s written numerous articles and a book, Depression in Children and Adolescents: Guidelines for School Practice, published in 2013. She’s also contributed chapters to many other books; presented at dozens of local, national, and international conferences; and received several honors and awards, including the Distinguished Faculty Award for Service in 2013 from Oregon Health & Science University. She’s led and served on a long list of professional committees and been a respected advisor and program evaluator. She received her master’s degree from the University of Oregon and her bachelor’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Washington. She joined Committee for Children’s board in 2014.


Lois Maag

Lois Maag is the strategic advisor in community relations for Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, where she heads up brand marketing and communications. She served as Starbucks Coffee Company’s first community affairs manager, responsible for the corporation’s local and national community affairs strategy. READ MORE

There, she managed the team responsible for contributions, volunteerism, and workplace giving. Prior to joining Starbucks, she was responsible for communications, public affairs, and brand marketing at Seattle Center. Ms. Maag holds bachelor of science degrees from Indiana University and University of Edinburgh and a certificate in corporate community involvement from the Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College. She is a past volunteer with United Way, Leadership Tomorrow, and Phinney Center. She joined the board in 2009.


Erin J. Maher, PhD

Erin J. Maher, PhD, is an experienced social science researcher and evaluator with an extensive publication record. Her work has helped to shape policy and practice around early childhood, prevention, and child welfare. READ MORE

Dr. Maher is the Director of Program Evaluation at Casey Family Programs, a national foundation whose mission is to provide, improve—and ultimately prevent the need for—foster care. In this capacity, she leads a team of skilled researchers and analysts to conduct high-impact research and evaluations to inform stakeholders who influence child welfare reform. By joining Committee for Children’s board, she is strengthening community partnerships that share overlapping goals to improve outcomes for children and brings an analytical and evaluative lens to the organization. Prior to Casey Family Programs, she was a Research Scientist and Principal Investigator on early care and education projects and grants at the Human Services Policy Center in the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. She received her doctorate, which examined the racial achievement gap in secondary education, from the Department of Sociology at Indiana University-Bloomington in 2000. She’s served on United Way of King County’s School Readiness Impact Council and Washington Kids Count Advisory Board, and is a member of the American Evaluation Association.


Kumar Mehta

Dr Kumar Mehta was the CEO of Blueocean Market Intelligence and the Cross-Tab group until 2016.  He developed this highly regarded data analytics and strategic outsourcing company that employs over a thousand professionals around the world. Kumar is well versed in executive management, leadership, and data-driven development and implementation. He received his PhD in pharmaceutical socioeconomics from the University of Iowa in 1990. READ MORE

Under Kumar’s leadership, Blueocean Market Intelligence and the Cross-tab group won multiple awards for innovation focused on big-data, digital analytics, and mobile analytics. He brought cutting-edge solutions to social media mining, dashboards, and text mining. Prior to joining the Cross-Tab group, Kumar spent over 13 years at Microsoft in a variety of leadership roles within Market Research, Business Strategy, Competitive Intelligence, Corporate Alliances, Business Management, and Finance.  Kumar joined the board in 2016.


Renee N. Metty, MEd

As founder and CEO of With Pause, Renee Metty facilitates mindfulness-based workshops and trainings and leads professional development for schools and businesses. She also coaches executive leaders and groups, develops adult mindfulness curricula, and presents at conferences, all with the goal of helping others develop richer connections, manage stress, and collaborate effectively. READ MORE

Previously, she founded and led The Cove School, a successful preschool specializing in social-emotional learning. She’s president and founder of the West Seattle Preschool Association and has been a volunteer with Street Links, the Psychiatric Unit at Children’s Hospital, Inner City Outings, and the Child Assessment Unit at Cambridge Hospital. She also ran an event company and has been a special education teacher and consultant, as well as a K–1 teacher. She’s secured grants from both the Seattle Education Foundation and the National Education Association for her work. She has master’s degrees in both early childhood and special education and has received specialized training and certification in mindfulness and somatic experiencing for resolving trauma. She also coached both girls’ and boys’ soccer.


Shannon Orton

Shannon Orton is an education professional who currently serves as Communications Director for Spruce Street School, where she oversees marketing, PR, and alumni relations. READ MORE

She started her career at the Colorado Outward Bound School as an instructor and then course director, working with students from varied backgrounds, ages 14 to 65. She has since taught in the Seattle Public Schools in every grade from kindergarten through eleventh, focusing on multi-age classrooms, project-based learning, and integrated, theme-based curricula. Orton holds a bachelor of arts from The Evergreen State College and a master of arts in education from Seattle’s Antioch University. Orton joined the board in 2015.


Sabrina Powers, JD

Sabrina Powers is a corporate attorney for VMware, an IT company specializing in virtualization software and cloud services. Sabrina also recently worked for Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where she led the team that manages commercial transactions in support of grant making for the Global Health Programs. READ MORE

Since 2005, she has volunteered with OutdoorsForAll, providing ski instruction to individuals with disabilities. Sabrina earned her juris doctorate at Seattle University School of Law and her bachelor of arts degree at Vanderbilt University. She joined the board in 2010.


Jon Reingold

Jon Reingold is retired from Microsoft, where he served as vice president of Corporate Marketing, vice president of Marketing for the Applications Division, general manager of the Excel Product Group, and director of International Marketing. READ MORE

He was a founding board member and treasurer of Eastside Preparatory School. Mr. Reingold currently serves on the board at Seattle Academy, for which he chairs the Facilities Committee and serves on the Executive Committee, Committee on Trustees, and Finance Committee. He holds an MBA from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in political philosophy from Princeton.


Reed Koch, Board Member Emeritus

Reed Koch is the former general manager of Assistance Platform at Microsoft, where he was responsible for the strategy and execution of Microsoft’s more Assistance Platform, starting with version 1.0. He has also been general manager of FrontPage Windows, SharePoint Services, and PhotoDraw.READ MORE

Mr. Koch has also served as group program manager, group product planner, and product manager of Microsoft Word. In these roles, he organized design and shipping of Word 2000 and Word XP, started the product planning group and organized product planning for Word 95 and Word 97, and developed the first usability testing at Microsoft to design Word and test it against WordPerfect. Mr. Koch holds a bachelor of science in liberal arts with a major in mathematics from Reed College. He joined the board in 2006.


Richard N. Brandon, PhD, Board Member Emeritus

Richard N. Brandon retired as founding director of the Human Services Policy Center at the University of Washington, where he led efforts in collaborative human services and financing of public education and childcare, and founded the Washington Kids Count project. He is currently engaged in several national and international projects in early care and education. Dr. Brandon is co-principal investigator for a four-year national study of childcare supply, demand, and workforce. Before joining the University of Washington in 1989, Dr. Brandon served as staff director of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee, where he played a major role in developing the congressional budget process and negotiating the federal budget. READ MORE

Prior to that, he directed systems analysis and budgeting for the New York City Department of Mental Health and analyzed Social Security financing as a fellow of the Employee Benefit Research Institute. He has been a consultant to state and local governments; UNICEF; the American Association of Retired Persons; and the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government on a variety of human service and financing issues. He received a PhD in political science from the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the board in 2007.


Marcia Boyd, Board Member Emeritus

Marcia Boyd is the (retired) principal of John Rogers Elementary School in the Seattle School District. She is past-president of the Elementary Principal’s Association and was Seattle Regional Outstanding Principal in 2011. READ MORE

Other professional affiliations include membership in the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the Association of Washington School Principals, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and the Washington State Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Ms. Boyd received both her bachelor’s degree in education and her master’s degree in school administration from Western Washington University. She served on the board from 2002 to 2012.


Debra Boyer, PhD, Board Member Emeritus

Debra Boyer is a cultural anthropologist with 25 years of experience as the principal investigator of studies on urban street cultures, runaway and homeless youth, child sexual abuse and trauma, sexually exploited adolescents, adolescent pregnancy, and women’s reproductive health. She holds faculty appointments as auxiliary faculty in the School of Social Work and Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle. READ MORE

In her work as an applied anthropologist, she has provided leadership to local and national programs and interventions for homeless and sexually exploited youth and has developed programs for a continuum of care for homeless youth. Dr. Boyer is a co-founder of Committee for Children, its first board of directors president, and an active volunteer on the Youth Impact Council for United Way of Seattle/King County. She participates in numerous local and advisory groups of behalf of homeless and exploited children. Dr. Boyer is the proprietor of Boyer Research, through which she conducts ethnographic and policy research. She rejoined the board in 2003.


Michael Herschensohn, PhD, Board Member Emeritus

Michael Herschensohn has directed the Children’s Museum, the Museum of History and Industry, and Northwest Folklife, for which he received the 2006 Mayor’s Act Award. As a member of Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, he led the centennial celebration of The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, the 1909 World’s Fair that put Seattle on national and international maps. READ MORE

In addition to his work with Committee for Children, Dr. Herschensohn has served with such community organizations as Successful Schools in Action, the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum, the Maritime Heritage Foundation, the James W. Washington Foundation, and Historic Seattle. Dr. Herschensohn received a master of arts in historic preservation planning from Cornell University and a PhD in romance languages and literature from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Herschensohn joined the board in 2005.


Ed Rogan, Board Member Emeritus

Ed Rogan is Vice President, Executive Recruitment, at Waldron, a Seattle-based human talent consulting firm founded in 1983 with offices throughout the west, and has been with the firm since 1995. READ MORE

Mr. Rogan received bachelor’s degrees in sociology (cum laude) and psychology from the University of Houston and a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Colorado at Denver. Ed is a husband to Laura (m. 1994) and father to Zoe (b. 1999) and Liam (b. 2003) and spends some of his spare time performing with his band Blackjack Kerouac at events hosted by organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and the YMCA, among others.


Sarah Ellen Stanley, Board Member Emeritus

Sarah Ellen Stanley has applied her skills and experience in management, curriculum implementation, branding and strategic planning, cross-cultural awareness, editing, writing, and broadcasting to various roles as an educator, journalist, and international consultant. READ MORE

She worked with foreign correspondents in the Pacific Rim as managing editor of Pacific Rim News Service and has consulted for the Japanese consulate. She has taught and helped implement curricula at LABO, a Japanese international exchange company, and Vashon Island High School. A recipient of the Society of Professional Journalists Investigative Journalism Award, a Stanford University fellowship, and a Japanese government research fellowship, Ms. Stanley has a bachelor of arts degree in political science and communications from the University of Washington and master’s degrees in teaching from City University and social science from the University of Chicago. In addition to her community service on the Queen Anne Helpline board of directors, Ms. Stanley has also served on the boards of Copper Canyon Press and City University. She joined the board in 2005.


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