Carol Wilson Spigner, Chair
Carol Wilson Spigner is a child welfare policy and services consultant who recently retired from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice where she directed the social policy program and taught policy and macro practice. Prior to joining the University of Pennsylvania in 1999, she served as Associate Commissioner for the Children's Bureau in the Department of Health and Human Services. As the federal policy leader, Spigner directed the implementation of Family Support and Family Preservation Act, the Adoption and Safe Families Act and redesigned the federal monitoring process. Spigner has published articles on permanency planning, adoption and disparities in child welfare. Her work has been recognized through awards from American Public Human Services Association, North American Council on Adoptable Children, National Association of Social Workers, Association of Black Social Workers, Black Administrators in Child Welfare, The Association of Child Welfare Mangers and Child Welfare League of America. Spigner holds a doctorate in social work from the University of Southern California. Her current work focuses on disparities in child welfare and reform of complex child welfare systems.
Mark L. Joseph, Vice Chair
Mark Joseph’s current research is focused on the study of mixed-income development as a strategy to reduce poverty. He has studied the economic impacts of incarceration as well as comprehensive community development strategies in high poverty neighborhoods. Joseph received his B.A. in Government from Harvard University. He received a Harlech Scholarship for graduate study at Oxford University. He continued his graduate studies at the University of Chicago, where he received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the Harris School of Public Policy Studies. Joseph completed a post-doctoral scholarship at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration, and was a research associate at the Chapin Hall Center for Children. In 2005, Joseph received the Harris School’s “Minorities in Public Policy Studies Alumnus of the Year” award and in 2007 won the Best Paper of the Year award from the Urban Affairs Association.
Thomas Bates serves as Special Counsel and Director of Government Affairs at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. Thomas is a formal federal prosecutor, having served as the Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington. In his role, he also oversaw outreach, communications and policy-related efforts. He previously was Vice President for Civic Engagement at Rock the Vote, where he led voter registration and education, issues advocacy, and research efforts for the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter registration organization. Prior to joining Rock the Vote, Thomas was co-founder and Executive Director of Democrats Work, a national organization that connected grassroots Democrats with community service projects and built a service-based approach to politics. He has worked on Capitol Hill as a top aide to a U.S. Representative David Price (NC), practiced law as a litigator at Cooley LLP, and served as a senior advisor on the reelection campaign of Governor Chris Gregoire in Washington. He is a graduate of Duke University and the New York University School of Law and currently serves as Commissioner on the Washington State Commission on National and Community Service (now called Serve Washington) and on the Board of Directors of Solid Ground.
Yolie Flores was previously a member of the Los Angeles Unified School District and CEO of the Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council (CPC), the largest children’s partnership network in the United States. A first generation Mexican American, Flores has championed several reforms targeting the needs of low-income children and families. As a school board member she authored the Public School Choice resolution, as well as the Teacher Effectiveness resolution, illustrating a keen understanding of the challenges that confront students. Flores received her B.A. from the University of Redlands and her Master of Social Welfare from UCLA. She was a Coro City Focus Fellow, and a member of the inaugural class of the national Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Children and Family Fellowship. She has received the YWCA “Incredible Woman Making History” award, the Los Angeles County “Woman of the Year” award and the National Association of Social Workers “Social Worker of the Year award.
Sandra Moore is president of Urban Strategies, a nonprofit organization that works in distressed communities across the country where mixed income housing has been completed or is developing. She is a national leader in housing and community development, active in helping several federally-funded Choice Neighborhoods succeed. Prior to leading Urban Strategies, Moore served as director of the Missouri Department of Labor, where she served as a member of Governor Mel Carnahan’s cabinet. She is a member of the Board of Directors for Advantage Capital, Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation, Illinois Facilities Fund (IFF), Loop Trolley Company, McCormack Baron Salazar Urban Initiatives CDE Advisory Committee, Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis Black Leadership Roundtable, Urban League of Metro St. Louis, Washington University National Law Council, National Blues Museum and UMSL Chancellor’s Council. Moore holds both a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and a law degree from Washington University. She has received numerous awards, including the Washington University School of Law Distinguished Law Alumni Award and the St. Louis Community Empowerment Foundation Civic Leadership Award.
Gary Stangler is Executive Director of the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, a national foundation created by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Casey Family Programs to leverage resources and public will to help youth in foster care make successful transitions to adulthood. Prior to joining the Initiative, Stangler served as the director of Missouri's Department of Social Services for 11 years. Appointed by then-Gov. John Ashcroft (R) in 1989, he was re-appointed by Governor Mel Carnahan (D) in 1993. He began his career in the Department of Social Services in 1980 and worked his way up the ranks. Stangler has testified on a number of occasions before Congress on foster care, indigent health care and family preservation. He has received numerous awards, including the Lewis Hine Award for Service to Children. Stangler is a graduate of the University of Missouri - Columbia and the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Larkin W. Tackett
As executive director of IDEA Public Schools in Austin, Tackett leads the organization’s schools and growth in the region. This includes managing and coaching principals at IDEA Allan, as well as engaging community leaders, families, and key stakeholders in the region. He is focused on ensuring ambitious college ready results for all IDEA students in Austin. The first class of IDEA Allan’s sixth graders will graduate from college in 2023. Prior to joining IDEA, he served as the director of place-based initiatives in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement as part of the Broad Residency. In D.C., Tackett managed the Promise Neighborhoods program and led the department's place-based strategy to leverage public and private resources to support comprehensive education reform in high-poverty neighborhoods. He also worked at the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, and served as legislative director for Texas State Senator Judith Zaffirini and committee director for California State Senator Dean Florez. Tackett began his career as an eighth grade social studies and journalism teacher with Teach For America at Eliza Miller Jr. High School in West Helena, Arkansas, a small town in the Mississippi Delta.
Judge William A. Thorne, Jr.
Judge William A. Thorne, Jr. is currently a judge on the State of Utah Court of Appeals and was formerly a judge in the Third District Court. He has served as a tribal court judge in 10 states and is the former president of the National Indian Justice Center, a nonprofit that trains tribal court personnel around the country. Nationally known as a leading expert on policies and programs to support children, particularly Native American children and their families, Thorne is currently chair of the Board of Directors for Child Trends, Inc., a premiere nonprofit child-centered research group. He is also a board member of WestEd, Inc., a nonprofit focused on excellence and equity in education and a member of the Board of Trustees for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. A former member of the board of directors for National CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), a nonprofit group that provides representation for abused and neglected children in court and the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a nonprofit seeking to improve the level of research and practice related to adoptions and the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC), Thorne has also served as a member of the American Bar Association’s Steering Committee on the Unmet Legal Needs of Children and was a member of the PEW Commission of Children in Foster Care. Thorne is a graduate of the University of Santa Clara and Stanford Law School. He was formerly chair of the Utah Juvenile Justice Task Force of the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, vice-chair of the Utah Board of Youth Corrections, member of the Salt Lake County Domestic Violence Advisory Committee and a member of the steering committee for the Judicial Council’s Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Fairness.