Conference Speakers


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Monday, April 15, 2013 - 9:15 am – 10:45 am - Opening Plenary

Dr. William C. Bell, President and CEO, Casey Family Programs


William C. Bell became president and chief executive officer of Casey Family Programs in January 2006. He chairs the Executive Team, and is ultimately responsible for the vision, mission, strategies and objectives of the foundation.


Bell has more than 30 years of experience in the human services field. Prior to becoming president and CEO of Casey FamilyPrograms, he served as the foundation’s executive vice president for child and family services, providing strategic direction to nine field offices and leading a staff working directly with young people from the public child welfare system.


Prior to joining Casey, he served two-and-a-half years as commissioner of the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). There, he managed child welfare services – including child protection, foster care, child abuse prevention, day care and Head Start – with a staff of more than 7,000 and a budget of about $2.4 billion.


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Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm - Gala Dinner

Kevin Ryan, President and CEO, Covenant House International


For more than 20 years, Kevin Ryan has been serving and protecting homeless kids.  He worked with homeless kids in New York City and New Jersey for more than a decade before being named New Jersey’s first State Child Advocate.  Ryan then went on to lead a sustained reform of the New Jersey child welfare system as the first Commissioner of Children and Families.


Ryan leads the international Covenant House movement, which reaches more than 50,000 trafficked and exploitedc hildren and youth annually in the US, Latin America, and Canada.  He is the co-author with former New York Times reporter Tina Kelley of Almost Home: Helping Kids Move from Homelessness to Hope.


He supports and participates in child welfare reform efforts across the United States as a member of Public Catalyst. Kevin is the recipient of Harvard Law School's Wasserstein Fellowship, the Skadden Fellowship, and several honorary degrees.  He has taught law at Seton Hall Law School, Rutgers School of Law, and Fordham University School of Law and has made numerous appearances on the TODAY Show, 60 Minutes, Good Morning America and CBS This Morning.


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Wednesday, April 17, 2013 – 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm – Closing Lunch

Dr. Brian D. Smedley, Vice President and Director, Health Policy Institute, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies


Brian D. Smedley is Vice President and Director of the Health Policy Institute of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, DC. Formerly, Smedley was Research Director and co-founder of a communications, research, and policy organization, The Opportunity Agenda - - which seeks to build the national will to expand opportunity for all.

Prior to helping launch The Opportunity Agenda, Smedley was a Senior Program Officer in the Division of Health Sciences Policy of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), where he served as Study Director for the IOM reports In the Nation’s Compelling Interest: Ensuring Diversity in the Health Care Workforce and Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care, and for other reports on diversity in the health professions and minority health research policy.


Smedley came to the IOM from the American Psychological Association, where he worked on a wide range of social, health, and education policy topics in his capacity as Director for Public Interest Policy. Prior to working at the APA, Smedley served as a Congressional Science Fellow in the office of Representative Robert C. Scott (D-VA), sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Among his awards and distinctions are the Congressional Black Caucus Congressional Leadership in Advocacy Award (2009); a "Health Trailblazer" award from the Rainbow/PUSH coalition (2004); and the Congressional Black Caucus' “Healthcare Hero” award (2002).


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