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 globe.… read 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.”