- Richard F. Catalano Jr., Ph.D.
- David S. Anderson, Ph.D.
- Cady Berkel, Ph.D.
- Jim Kooler, Dr.P.H.
- Sally Manninen, M.A.
- Sarah Mariani, CPP
- Monica S. Ruiz, Ph.D.
Dr. Richard Catalano is a Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Washington, the co-founder of the Social Development Research Group, and Past President of the Society for Prevention Research. For over 40 years, he has led research and program development to promote positive youth development and prevent problem behavior. His work has focused on discovering risk and protective factors for positive and problem behavior, designing and evaluating programs to address these factors, and using this knowledge to understand and improve prevention service systems in states and communities.
He has published over 400 articles and book chapters. He has been a member or chair of several NIH review committees, the prevention editor of the Surgeon General’s report on Facing Addiction: Alcohol, Drugs and Health, member of National Academy of Sciences study groups, and is currently a member of the Board of Children, Youth and Families and NAS Consensus Study on Fostering Healthy Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Development.
Dr. Catalano is a member of the Board of Directors for the Washington State Academy of Sciences. He is the co-developer of the Social Development Model; the parenting programs “Guiding Good Choices,” “Supporting School Success,” “Staying Connected with Your Teen,” and “Focus on Families;” the school-based program, “Raising Healthy Children;” and the community prevention approach, “Communities That Care.”
David Anderson, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus of Education and Human Development at George Mason University (Mason). He served on the faculty at Mason for 28 years, finishing his career there as Professor and Director, Center for the Advancement of Public Health. He served as project director and researcher on over 180 grants and contracts; these encompassed a range of national, state and local projects, and included needs assessments and evaluation, curriculum, research and program implementation. He conducts needs assessments; prepares evaluation and analysis; and assists with strategic planning. His work emphasizes college students, youth, school and community leaders, program planners, and policy makers. Specialty areas include drug/alcohol abuse prevention, strategic planning and mobilization, communication and education, health promotion, and needs assessment and evaluation. At Mason, he taught graduate and undergraduate courses on drug and alcohol issues, community health, and health communications.
Dr. Cady Berkel received her B.A. from the George Washington University and Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. Dr. Berkel focuses on reducing health disparities (including substance use, mental health, HIV and other STIs, and obesity) through research on the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based programs. She studies the implementation of evidence-based programs in community settings, including healthcare and court systems. Her work evaluates implementation mechanisms that promote positive outcomes for programs delivered in community settings, through behavioral observations and machine learning. She also conducts basic research on risk (e.g., discrimination and poverty) and resilience (e.g., racial/ethnic socialization, identity, and cultural values) mechanisms associated with health disparities.
Jim Kooler, Dr.P.H. serves as the Assistant Deputy Director of Behavioral Health at the CA Dept. of Health Care Services. In this role he is responsible for leading the policy efforts to see that youth receive the behavioral health services they need. He previously served as the Administrator for the California Friday Night Live Partnership and the California Center for Youth Development and Health Promotion. He has designed and implemented effective alcohol and other drug prevention and youth development programs at the County and State level for over 36 years. He helped to pioneer the Friday Night Live (FNL), Club Live (CL), FNL Kids, and FNL Mentoring programs. He helped create the Betting On Our Future (BOOF) problem gambling prevention program. He champions youth development in multiple settings and was responsible for developing the Quality Assurance Standards for the California Mentor Initiative and the California Governor’s Mentoring Partnership.
Sally Manninen has 20+ years in education and substance use prevention and 11 years’ experience working with community partners in southern Maine on a full continuum of substance use prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery projects. She is Director of the Community Health team at York Hospital, a small non-profit hospital serving southern York County Maine. She has worked at York Hospital since 2008, becoming the Coalition and Community Health Director in 2017.
Ms. Manninen is an experienced Prevention Specialist, trainer and grant writer. She spent ten years in the public health system of Massachusetts, providing training and technical assistant to community coalitions across the northeast region. She has written several successful SAMHSA grants and served as a reviewer of both Drug Free Communities and Partnerships for Success grants. She also helped write a Maine Health Access Foundation grant for York Hospital that has provided $150,000 to help create a new medication assisted treatment program for people with opioid use disorder.
Sarah Mariani currently is the Section Manager overseeing substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion services for the Washington State Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery. Sarah has a strong commitment to serving youth and families in high need communities in all of the Section programs and initiatives. Currently, she focuses on policy development and strategic planning to ensure effective service delivery and outcomes. Sarah is the co-chair for the State Prevention Enhancement Policy Consortium that oversees the state’s five-year Strategic Plan for Substance Use Disorder Prevention and Mental Health Promotion. Additionally, in this role she also serves as Washington State’s National Prevention Network representative and is the NPN President.
Sarah obtained her Bachelor’s degree in sociology from Seattle University followed by a year of AmeriCorps working in schools and with families. Sarah continued her work as a community organizer in building healthier communities working throughout Snohomish County, WA. Prior to joining the state, she was the Executive Director for the county program to prevent youth violence and substance abuse. Sarah has worked in prevention for over twenty years including coalition-building, strategic planning, and training. Sarah began working for the State of Washington in 2006 and has contributed to the development of multiple substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion initiatives for the state. Including development of the Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative model and as part of her work to support workforce development, Sarah created the first of its kind, Washington State online professional development platform which includes interactive content as well as online courses for the prevention professionals in the state.
Monica S. Ruiz, Ph.D., MPH, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Prevention and Community Health, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University (GWU). She has focused most of her career on prevention research among marginalized populations (such as people who inject drugs [PWID]) that are at greatest risk of HIV infection. She has expertise in clinical HIV prevention research for PWID in the United States and abroad. Dr. Ruiz also has policy experience: as Acting Director for Public Policy at amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, she provided legislative education to Congressional staff on the effectiveness of syringe access programs for HIV prevention and engaged in advocacy for the removal of the syringe exchange funding restriction language in HR 2764.
As the PI for the original project (1 R01 DA031649-01; Impact Evaluation of a Policy Intervention for HIV Prevention in Washington, D.C.), Dr. Ruiz led her research team to the successful completion of a quantitative and qualitative analyses of policy change for syringe access in D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia. She and her team have numerous published papers in peer-reviewed journals; they have presented their findings at both domestic and international conferences. Her findings regarding the impact of policy change on HIV infections in D.C. gained national media coverage, including an interview on National Public Radio and widespread newspaper coverage (e.g., Washington Post, Huffington Post, and USA Today).