Our team is a committed group of concerned Connecticut residents who believe there is no greater mission than to be a voice for the voiceless.
Our team is a committed group of concerned Connecticut residents who believe there is no greater mission than to be a voice for the voiceless.
Jean A. Adnopoz, M.P.H., Clinical Professor, is Director of In-Home Clinical Services for the Yale Child Study Center. Among these programs are the Intensive In-Home Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Service (IICAPS), Family Based Recovery (FBR) and the Intensive In-Home Reintegrative Service (IICARS). Ms. Adnopoz’s clinical and research interests have focused on serving the needs of children who are at substantial risk for disruption of their primary relationships with caregivers and separation from their families and communities. Factors affecting these children include abuse, neglect, parental drug addiction, chronic physical or mental illness, or their own serious psychiatric and behavioral disorders, all often co-existing within the context of multi-generational psychosocial adversity. Services are delivered in the family’s home and are designed to maintain children safely within their homes and communities. Several models developed at Yale are being widely replicated in Connecticut. Ms. Adnopoz is the author of numerous articles and chapters as well as the book IICAPS: A Home-Based Psychiatric Treatment for Children and Adolescents, co-authored with Joseph Woolston, M.D. and Steven Berkowitz.
Lynn Cochrane, J.D., is a staff attorney in the Education Unit of Greater Hartford Legal Aid, Inc., where she has practiced for the past 27 years. Her areas of concentration have included child protection, juvenile delinquency, and special education law. She and Attorney Jill Davies are the authors of Family Problems, DCF, and the Law: A Guide for Parents. She has a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University and a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law.
Hector Glynn, M.S.W., is Vice President of Community, Family and Clinical Services at The Village for Families and Children. He has extensive experience with the juvenile justice system and the needs of urban youth. Prior to coming to the Village, he was Executive Director of the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance, where he led the way for major reforms in the Connecticut juvenile justice system’s policies and procedures. The Connecticut General Assembly (CGA) appointed Mr. Glynn to the CGA’s Juvenile Jurisdiction Planning and Implementation Committee. He also worked for Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Hartford for ten years in the Youth Services Division, providing direct services, program coordination, and staff supervision. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and a Master in School Work from the University of Connecticut.
Garth Harries, J.D., believes in the power of engagement—the engagement of teachers and staff, of community, and most importantly of parents and students—to propel all children in learning, achieving, and rising to meet the future. Garth is currently the managing partner of the International Center for Leadership and Education (ICLE), an arm of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt that partners with education leaders to design—or redesign—districts, schools, and systems for rigor, relevance, and relationships. As the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent Garth was the architect of the New Haven School Change, a nationally recognized school reform initiative designed to provide all students with an outstanding education preparing them to be the next generation of leaders, innovators and problem-solvers. During Garth’s tenure with the New Haven Public Schools, the graduation rate increased 20 percentage points, college enrollment went up in parallel, state test scores grew at twice the rate of the state, and the district student population increased by more than 10%. Garth also co-founded Mindful, Inc, a technology start-up that catalyzed systemic change in the early childhood ecosystem by providing integrated developmental screening and promotion. Nickelodeon acquired Sparkler as the foundation of Nick Jr.’s early learning strategy, and the work of Sparkler to promote systemic change continues through the nonprofit Sparkler Learning. Garth previously served as a senior executive in the New York City Department of Education, where he evaluated the Department’s special education strategies and led efforts to create more than 350 new district and charter schools. Garth has a B.A. from Yale University and graduated with distinction from Stanford Law School; he completed education leadership programs at Southern Connecticut State University and the NEAG School at the University of Connecticut. Garth lives with his family on an organic farm in Ridgefield, Connecticut, where he spends his weekends looking for worms with their two sons.
Leonard Jahad, M.S., is a lifelong resident of the greater New Haven area. A veteran of more than 24 years of law enforcement including stints in Connecticut Department of Corrections and community corrections before retiring as Chief Probation Officer for the New Haven Adult Probation Office where he specialized in supervising Youthful offenders and Violent offenders. Jahad is currently employed as Executive Director of the Connecticut Violence Intervention Program (CT-VIP), where he supervises a team of outreach workers that mentor the riskiest youth in New Haven and Hamden communities. He also works within the New Haven Public School System as an Intervention Specialist,utilizing restorative practices and mediation techniques to restore relationships among students, staff and parents. Jahad is a strong advocate for mentoring as he currently serves as President of the New Haven My Brother’s Keeper Mentoring Program as well as a football coach in for the New Haven Steelers of the Pop Warner Football Association. Besides being the proud dad of 2 biological daughters, Jahad has also been a foster parent to over 12 young men and women since 1996. When not working or volunteering, Jahad enjoys volunteering with the Prince Hall Shriners and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. He also serves on many non-profit Boards including treasurer for the Elm City Freddy Fixer Parade and Bereavement Care Network. Personally, he enjoys working on his antique muscle car collection, spending time with family and Bikram Yoga.
David Nee, M.B.A., retired in 2014 as the first executive director of the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, founded in 1993 to improve education for Connecticut’s children. Prior to his leadership of the Graustein Memorial Fund, Mr. Nee acted as the executive director of the Ittleson Foundation and of the Florence V. Burden Foundation. He has served on the boards of the Connecticut Academy for Education in Math Science and Technology, and Grantmakers for Children Youth and Families. He co-chaired the Governor’s Early Childhood Research and Policy Council from 2006-2009. He founded and continues to serve on the Board of the Connecticut Center for School Change. A graduate of Harvard College, Mr. Nee holds a master’s degree in English from Yale University and a master’s degree in business administration from Boston University
Dr. Nunez-Smith, M.D., M.H.S., is an Associate Professor at the Yale School of Medicine, Associate Professor at the Yale School of Public Health, Director of the Equity Research and Innovation Center, Director of the Center for Research Engagement, Core Faculty in the National Clinician Scholars Program, and Deputy Director at the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation. Dr. Nunez-Smith’s research focuses on promoting healthcare equity for vulnerable populations with an emphasis on healthcare workforce development, patient assessment of healthcare experiences, and healthcare system strengthening to address chronic disease in low and middle resource settings.
Ann Baker Pepe formerly served as the Director of Development at the Foote School, an independent K-9 preparatory school in New Haven, where she has led a steady growth in the school’s fundraising, developed alumni relations and coordinated communications for more than 15 years. Ms. Pepe previously worked at Wesleyan University in the University Relations, Annual Fund, and Admissions programs. She is actively involved in the New Haven community, especially through her volunteer work at Leadership, Education and Athletics in Partnership (LEAP) where she chaired the LEAP Dinners Committee for 10 years and currently serves as Board Chair. She received a BA in psychology with certification in elementary education from Kirkland College.
Nancy Roberts is the former President of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, a regional association of grantmakers in Connecticut, where she served for 22 years. Prior to that post, she managed the Howard and Bush Foundation in Greater Hartford. She currently serves as a board member of the Hartford Seminary and Plowshares Institute. She is a past member of the advisory board of the Workforce Solutions Collaborative and the Governor’s Cabinet on Nonprofit Health and Human Services, a past board member of the Foundation Center in New York and the Council on Foundations, and a founding board member and past chair of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers.
Dr. Laine Taylor, D.O., M.B.A., is Medical Director at The Village for Families and Children. Prior to joining the Village, Dr. Taylor was an Assistant Professor at the Yale Child Study Center and worked on the child psychiatric inpatient service for seven years; she was also the Associate Medical Director of the Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital’s Children’s Psychiatric Inpatient Service. Dr. Taylor completed medical school at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, her Psychiatry residency at the University of Arizona and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center-Riverview track. She has a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Leadership from Rockburst University, Kansas City, Missouri. Her areas of interest are organizational development, culture in medicine, and healthcare policy. She is an advocate for children and families as a clinician and on the state level working to develop programs and legislation in the state of Connecticut. Her areas of specialty include medical education, interdisciplinary collaboration, emergency psychiatry, structural family therapy, and inpatient child and adolescent psychiatry.
Susana Barragan is an Assistant Policy & Research Fellow with Connecticut Voices for Children. She is part of the Program Team.
She is an Honors scholar graduate from the University of Connecticut, where she earned her B.A. in both Economics and Human Rights. As an undergraduate, she worked in Washington D.C., where she advocated for an economic advancement bill for the Latinx community. Her interests include international and local economic development as well as public policy. She was also an intern for the equitable development team at the Ford Foundation in New York City. Susana loves to read, take her dog Rocco out for walks, and learn new Peruvian food recipes.
Jasmine Cruz, M.B.A., is an Events & Special Projects Associate with Connecticut Voices for Children. She is part of the Program Team.
She has over 5 years of operations experience in the education sector. A native New Yorker, Jasmine was born in the Bronx but is a long-time resident of Bridgeport. Jasmine is a fierce advocate for educational equity and has witnessed first-hand the impact strong educators and effective learning environments can have on communities of color. She is the proud mother of Madelyn, who published her first book of poetry at age 12 and will be attending the University of New Haven in the fall of 2020.
Jasmine earned an M.B.A. from the University of Bridgeport and a B.A. in Business Management from Albertus Magnus College.
Ariana Christakis is an undergraduate school intern with the Program Team at Connecticut Voices for Children. She is currently attending Yale University.
Ariana is a second year at Yale University seeking a degree in psychology with an interest in early childhood development and clinical psychology. At Yale, she enjoys writing and editing for The Layer (a student-run literary magazine on mental health), and playing frisbee for the women’s frisbee team, Ramona. She is passionate about advocating for children, especially in the frame of mental health. In her hometown, Seattle, she loves to spend time with her two dogs in the outdoors, and in New Haven enjoys exploring local restaurants with her girlfriend.
Daniel Curtis is a Research & Policy Associate with Connecticut Voices for Children. He is part of the Program Team.
Daniel joins CT Voices via a Leadership for Educational Equity Fellowship. Prior to joining CT Voices, he worked first as a high school English teacher in Richmond, CA and then as a Litigation Paralegal for a plaintiff law firm. Daniel has experience as a Research Associate at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government where he worked on a project focused on municipalities, and as a Research Assistant within the Political Science Department at Amherst College.
Daniel earned a B.A. in Political Science from Amherst College. He has a background in teaching and pedagogy from Loyola Marymount University. His particular interests include educational equity, workforce development, and economic security.
Whitney Dukes is the Community Engagement Associate with Connecticut Voices for Children. She is part of the Program Team.
Whitney joins our team after having helped develop a community outreach strategy at the Vera Institute of Justice in Los Angeles, CA. Prior to her work in LA, Whitney worked as Special Assistant on Vera’s executive team in NYC and played an integral role in Vera’s Race and Justice Workgroup and Race Equity and Inclusion Initiative. Whitney is a peer-mentor and volunteer at the Parole Preparation Project.
Whitney earned a B.A. in Sociology from The University of Connecticut. Throughout her coursework, she studied the sociological research of families, health, poverty, and education. Her particular interests include race, history, and public policy. Whitney grew-up in Bloomfield, CT.
Sarah Miller is a graduate school intern with the Program Team at Connecticut Voices for Children. She is currently an MSW candidate at the University of Connecticut.
Sarah earned a B.A. in Literature from Yale University. She is also a Community Health Organizer with Clifford Beers, volunteer with New Haven Public School Advocates, lifelong New Haven resident, and mom to two boys, Pablo and Mateo.
Patrick O’Brien, Ph.D., is a Research and Policy Fellow with Connecticut Voices for Children. His focus areas are fiscal and economics. He is part of the Program Team.
He is an expert on the issue area of presidential control over public finance policymaking, broadly defined to include fiscal policy, monetary policy, and the effect of both on economic policy. Prior to joining Connecticut Voices for Children, Patrick was a postdoctoral research and teaching fellow at Trinity College in Hartford, CT and he remains a Visiting Assistant Professor of Public Policy.
Patrick was awarded a Ph.D. in political science from Yale University. He also earned an M.A. in political science from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a B.S. in economics from DePaul University.
Jennifer is the External Affairs Director at Connecticut Voices for Children. She leads on communications design and public relations, events & community engagement as well as movement building and equity. She is part of the Program Team.
She joins CT Voices after having spent nearly a decade building relationships to advocate on behalf of Connecticut’s most marginalized students. An educator and advocate, Jennifer’s career is grounded in her first-hand experiences providing direct services to black and brown students and families as a College Counselor and Employment Specialist, with these providing a critical equity and justice lens to her work. Jennifer has ensured that her advocacy work is done in partnership with rather than on marginalized communities. She currently chairs the executive board of the education start-up New Haven Counts and is an acting Board Member of New Haven Legal Assistance Association.
Jennifer earned a B.A. in Political Science from Quinnipiac University. She currently lives in New Haven’s West River Neighborhood with her husband and children, the very same neighborhood in which she grew up.
Sooah Rho is the Networks & Marketing Associate with Connecticut Voices for Children. She is part of the Program Team.
Sooah joins CT Voices via a Leadership for Educational Equity Fellowship. Prior to joining CT Voices, she was an educator and participatory action researcher deeply committed to making policy and research more accessible to the communities they seek to impact. In NYC, she founded Elevating Youth Voice, a program to engage a network of 70+ nonprofit organizations in addressing educational inequity through youth-adult partnership. Sooah got her professional start teaching high school English in Oakland, CA.
Sooah earned a B.A. in Communications from the University of Southern California. She has a background in teaching and pedagogy from the Reach Institute of School Leadership, and she developed nonprofit management skills from Princeton University.
Lauren Ruth, Ph.D., is the Research & Policy Director at Connecticut Voices for Children. She is part of the Program Team.
She has an extensive background in policy and advocacy for under-represented groups. Her academic research focuses on psychological methods to reduce prejudice and increase support for equity-related public policy. Prior to joining the team at CT Voices, she worked first as a special education instructor and then as a lobbyist for early childhood, health equity, and juvenile justice organizations at the state capitol in Hartford.
She was awarded a Ph.D. in Psychology from Yale University. She also earned an M.S. and M.Phil. in Psychology from Yale as well as a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Philosophy from Tulane University.
Ryan Wilson is a Research & Policy Associate with Connecticut Voices for Children. He is part of the Program Team.
He previously served as an Assistant Policy & Research Fellow with Connecticut Voices for Children. Prior to CT Voices, Ryan spent two years in Changsha, China working with high school students as a Yale-China Teaching Fellow.
Ryan earned a B.A. in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration from Yale University. Born and raised in West Philadelphia, Ryan strives to advocate for racial equity and justice in the systems that affect the development of Connecticut’s youth.
Yesenia Aragon is an Administrative Associate with Connecticut Voices for Children. She is part of the Operations & Executive Team.
Yesenia is currently a Senior at the University of New Haven, studying Criminal Justice with a concentration in Investigative Services and a minor in Sociology. She aspires to join the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) after graduation. In her free time, she loves to read suspense books and taking her dog on walks.
Mary Jennings is the Operations Director at Connecticut Voices for Children. She is part of the Operations & Executive Team.
She has over 20 years of nonprofit experience with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in Seattle and Connecticut, as well as Connecticut Association for Human Services. Mary is a transplant from Seattle, WA.
Mary earned a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Washington.
Sana Shah, M.S., is the Chief of Staff at Connecticut Voices for Children. She leads on government and legislative affairs as well as development. She is part of the Operations & Executive Team.
Sana has over 10 years of experience working in education and advocacy for children in New Jersey, Texas, New York, and Connecticut. Growing up in an immigrant family, Sana was taught the value of solidarity and collective action; she has an extensive background building power with communities impacted by injustice. Sana has organized around issues such as criminal law reform, education equity, increasing teacher diversity in Connecticut, immigrants’ rights and liberties, and defending those who identify as LGBTQ+.
Sana earned an M.S. in Education from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in both Psychology and History from Rutgers University-New Brunswick.
Erin Sheehan is the Legislation & Data Analyst with Connecticut Voices for Children. She is part of the Operations & Executive Team.
She previously served as an Assistant Policy & Research Fellow with Connecticut Voices for Children. Prior to joining CT Voices, Erin was involved with electoral campaigns across the state and held policy internships at Planned Parenthood, the National Association of Community Health Centers, and the Nebraska Legislature.
Erin earned a B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.
Emily Byrne, M.P.A., is the Executive Director of Connecticut Voices for Children.
She has extensive experience in developing human-centered policies and programs as well as driving effective advocacy strategies in service of progressive change. Byrne has led and contributed to work that has been recognized by past White House administrations and has appeared in numerous publications. Most notably, she was the founding Executive Director of New Haven Promise, a nonprofit at the intersection of education and economic development.
Emily earned an M.P.A. from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a B.A. in Political Science from Providence College. A public servant by training, she started her career as a policy analyst for the City of New Haven, Connecticut where she helped design the nation’s first municipal identification card for residents irrespective of immigration status. Since then she has held various governmental leadership positions as a systems intrapreneur within the social and economic justice arenas.
She is also a past U.S. Visiting Fellow with the Robert Bosch Foundation in Germany. Her research focused on migrant rights and racial justice vis-à-vis democratic participation and education.
Ellen Scalettar, J.D., is a Senior Fellow for Fiscal Policy at Connecticut Voices for Children.
Ellen’s history with Connecticut Voices goes back to the mid-1990’s and precedes her time with the organization as a staffer when, as a State Representative in the General Assembly, she relied heavily on our tax and budget work. She continued to collaborate with Voices on projects and policies affecting the state’s children and families in her role as Assistant State Treasurer for Governmental & Community Relations and later as Director of Policy, Research and Legislation for the then-Senate President Pro Tempore.
Ellen is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the City College of New York and earned her J.D. degree with honors from the University of Maryland School of Law. Ellen is currently a Visiting Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School; her earlier legal career focused on litigation in the areas of defamation and privacy.
Shelley Geballe, J.D., M.P.H., is the Distinguished Senior Fellow at Connecticut Voices for Children.
A Co-Founder of CT Voices, Attorney Geballe served as Voices’ President from its start in 1995 until October 2008. She also is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Yale School of Public Health (where she teaches courses in Public Health Law and Health Disparities and directs the Health Policy Practicum) and a Clinical Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School where she co-teaches the Legislative Advocacy Clinic.
Over her time with CT Voices, Attorney Geballe’s research and writing has focused on state and federal tax and budget policy, family economic security, child welfare and juvenile justice, and children’s health and mental health. She has served in a number of appointed positions in the state, including currently the Advisory Committee of the Office of the Child Advocate. She has been a consultant in a variety of international contexts (e.g., on the non-profit sector at Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China, on HIV/AIDS law at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and on public health law at the Union School of Public Health in Beijing, China).
Prior to co-founding CT Voices, Attorney Geballe practiced civil rights law with the Connecticut ACLU, serving as counsel in a variety of federal class action cases, including representing the state’s abused and neglected children in a systemic class action challenge to CT’s foster care system, children with HIV/AIDS who were excluded from the New Haven public schools, women incarcerated in CT’s prison system, and CT inmates living with HIV disease. She also taught Federal Civil Rights Practice at the University of Connecticut Law School. Her publications include Geballe, Gruendel, & Andiman (eds.), Forgotten Children of the AIDS Epidemic (Yale University Press, 1995).
For her work on behalf of CT’s young people and their families, Attorney Geballe has been honored by many organizations including the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy (John Filer Award), the Connecticut Public Health Association (C-E. A. Winslow Award), the CT Bar Association, American Academy of Pediatrics – Connecticut Chapter, the CT Psychological Association, the National Association of Social Workers – CT Chapter, the National Organization for Women – CT Chapter, Casey Family Services, the CT Youth Service Association, the CT Association of Mental Health Clinics for Children, the CT Community Providers Association, the CT Probate Court Assembly, Gateway Community College, the Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition, and United Way of Greater New Haven.
Attorney Geballe received her law degree from Yale Law School (1976) and her public health degree from Yale Medical School (1995). She is married to Gordon Geballe, Associate Dean and Lecturer at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and they have three sons, three daughters-in-law, five grandsons and two granddaughters.