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Speaker Biosketches

Joint Meeting of the Subcommittee on Safety and Services Subcommittee

Thursday, May 19, 2011
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern

Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center
5701 Marinelli Road
Bethesda, Maryland 20852

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Sharon Lewis

Commissioner, Administration on Developmental Disabilities; Administration for Children and Families

Ms. Lewis joined the IACC as a Federal member in 2010 following her appointment as Commissioner of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities in March 2010. She serves on the Services Subcommittee and the Subcommittee for Planning the Strategic Plan Updating Process. She is also a co-chair of the Subcommittee on Safety. Well known as an effective advocate, Ms. Lewis has a proven track record in championing disability issues, while working for a better quality of life for all. She has worked in disability policy for more than 10 years at local, state, and national levels. She originally came to Washington, D.C. to serve as a Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation Public Policy Fellow, working for Senator Chris Dodd's HELP subcommittee on Children and Families. In 2007, she joined Chairman George Miller's Education & Labor Committee staff as Senior Disability Policy Advisor, where she advised members of the Committee on disability concerns related to education, employment and healthcare. Ms. Lewis is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2010 Distinguished Leadership in National Disability Policy Award and the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Chairman's Award. In Oregon, Ms. Lewis worked on public policy for the Oregon Developmental Disabilities Coalition and for the Arc. She served as the Co-Chair of the Oregon Family Action Coalition Team, founded DisabilityCompass.org and managed the Oregon Partners in Policymaking Program, working with individuals with disabilities and family members to participate in policy decisions at all levels. Ms. Lewis is a parent to three daughters, including one with disability. She is a native of Michigan and a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis.

Alexa Posny, Ph.D.

Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

Dr. Posny was confirmed as assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services at the Department of Education by the U.S. Senate on Oct. 5, 2009. In this position, she plays a pivotal role in policy and management issues affecting special education and rehabilitative services. She directs, coordinates and recommends policy for programs designed to assist state and local education agencies with improving the achievement of students with disabilities ages birth through 21, as well as adults transitioning from secondary school to higher education, employment or both. She helps ensure equal access to services leading to such improvement for all children, particularly children with disabilities. Dr. Posny fosters educational improvement at the state and local levels, and overseas the distribution of financial assistance to local education agencies whose local revenues are affected by federal activities. She also serves as the principal adviser to the U.S. secretary of education on all matters related to special education for individuals in pre-K, elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools. Dr. Posny has previously served as the Commissioner of Education for the Kansas State Department of Education and the Director of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). She has been recognized frequently for her educational leadership. In 2005, she received the Kansas High School Activities Association Governor's Award, an honor accorded to one individual in recognition of outstanding contributions in the field of secondary education in the state of Kansas. In 2004, she was named Administrator of the Year by the Kansas Association of Educational Office Professionals and, in 2001, she received the Outstanding Contributor Award for the state of Kansas from the Council for Exceptional Children. Dr. Posny earned her Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where she also minored in special education. She earned a master's degree in behavioral disabilities from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a bachelor's degree in sociology and psychology from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point.

Ellen W. Blackwell, M.S.W.

Social Worker/Health Insurance Specialist, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

Ms. Blackwell is a Federal member of the IACC who also serves as the Co-Chair of the Services Subcommittee and a member of the Subcommittee for Planning the Annual Strategic Plan Updating Process. She has been a member of the IACC since 2007. Ms. Blackwell is a social worker specializing in geriatrics, and a Health Insurance Specialist at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). She joined the Federal service in 2001 as a Presidential Management Fellow. Working primarily on long-term care issues, Ms. Blackwell helps states improve the quality and consistency of community based services, and mental health services delivered through managed care delivery systems. Prior to joining CMS, Ms. Blackwell worked at The Horizon Foundation, a philanthropic organization that promotes local health and wellness. She interned as a graduate student at The Hilltop Institute, a health research center at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and the Howard County Maryland Office on Aging. Ms. Blackwell founded the Howard County chapter of the Autism Society in 1992, and has an adult son with autism spectrum disorder. She graduated from the University of Maryland - Baltimore, and the University of Wisconsin - Stout.

Larke N. Huang, Ph.D.

Senior Advisor on Children, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Dr. Huang has served as a Federal member of the IACC since 2007 and is a member of the Services Subcommittee. She is a Senior Advisor on Children and a licensed clinical-community psychologist who provides leadership on Federal national policy pertaining to mental health and substance use issues for children, adolescents and families for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. She is also the agency lead on cultural competence and eliminating disparities. Dr. Huang has worked in the field of children's mental health for the past 25 years and has extensive experience as a community mental health provider and practitioner, researcher, university faculty and most recently in public policy for children's health and mental health services. She has worked with states and communities to build systems of care for children with serious emotional and behavioral disorders and their families, providing technical assistance on infrastructure and service delivery issues. Dr. Huang has developed programs for underserved, culturally and linguistically diverse youth, evaluated community-based programs, authored books and articles on children's mental health. Two more recent publications include: Children of Color: Psychological Interventions with Culturally Diverse Youth (2003) and Transforming Mental Health Care for Children and Their Families (2006). She received her Ph.D. in psychology from Yale University.

Charles R. Moseley, Ed.D.

Associate Executive Director of the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services

At NASDDDS, Dr. Moseley manages national projects and research, performs state and federal policy analysis, and provides technical assistance to states of Medicaid, self-determination, systems change, individual budgeting and a variety of other areas. Prior to joining the Association, Dr. Moseley was the Co-Director of the National Program Office on Self-Determination, a project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability. Prior to that position, he was the Director of Vermont's Division of Developmental Services where he led the initiative to close the state's institution, transition all services to individualized community-based alternatives and restructure service delivery to incorporate principles of self-directed services. He holds a doctorate in mental retardation policy from Syracuse University.

Curtis L. Decker, J.D.

Executive Director of the National Disability Rights Network

Mr. Decker has been affiliated with the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) (formerly the National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems (NAPAS )) since its inception in 1982. As Executive Director of the nation's largest non-governmental enforcer of disability rights, he oversees all activities related to training and technical assistance, membership services, and legislative advocacy. Before founding NDRN with other P&A Directors, he served as Director of the Maryland P&A - the Maryland Disability Law Center. Mr. Decker also served as Director of the H.E.L.P. Resource Project for Abused and Neglected Children for four years, and was a VISTA worker prior to working as a senior attorney for Baltimore Legal Aid Bureau for five years. He is the immediate past chair of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), a coalition of over 100 national disability groups, and serves on the boards of Friends of Research and Opera Vivente. In his career, he also served as a legislative consultant for numerous groups, including the American Association on Mental Retardation, the National Public Law Training Center, and the Maryland Academy of Physician's Assistants. He is a graduate of Hamilton College and Cornell Law School.

Robert F. Putnam Ph.D., BCBA-D

Senior Vice President of School Consultation at the May Institute

Dr. Putnam was on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School. Currently, he also serves as Director of Consultation at the National Autism Center (NAC) and was an Expert Panelist on the National Standards Project of the NAC. Dr. Putnam oversees one of eight national collaboration sites in conjunction with the University of Oregon and Connecticut comprising the National Technical Assistance Center for Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports funded by the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. His research interests are in the use of function based interventions to improve prosocial skills as well as behavioral support strategies with individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Additionally, he has a strong interest in school-wide behavior support interventions. He has published extensively and presents regularly at national, regional and local conferences on these topics.



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