Meet the Team
Jane Yoo, PhD, MSW
Jane Yoo has more than two decades of experience as a social worker and researcher conducting formative and summative evaluations of innovative programs and initiatives serving vulnerable populations. Dr. Yoo has served as principal and co-principal investigator on numerous evaluations in the health and human services, focusing on the fields of child welfare, mental health, juvenile justice, and education.
She co-founded Clarus Research to provide high quality evaluation services to assist government agencies, foundations, universities, and non-profit organizations to answer complex study questions for program improvement and policy decisions. As a founding partner at Clarus, she leads multiple projects supporting them with effective project management as well as content and research expertise. She has extensive experience using qualitative and quantitative methods; designing comprehensive evaluation studies with process, outcome, and cost-study components; developing and testing survey and assessment instruments; conducting interviews/focus groups and site visits; and managing and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data sets, including large county and state administrative data.
Current and recent projects led by Dr. Yoo and her Clarus colleagues include: a process, outcome, and cost-study evaluation funded by the Children’s Bureau of an initiative to promote trauma-informed child welfare practices in three Indian Reservations in Montana; a randomized controlled trial funded by the Children’s Bureau of two models of family engagement in a large child protective services agency in Florida; and a statewide participatory evaluation of California’s Mental Health Services Act in 58 counties using mixed methods to examine outcomes of employment support, peer support, and crisis intervention services for adults with mental illness. Dr. Yoo has authored numerous reports of evaluation findings and has authored peer-reviewed articles of studies in child welfare and other fields.
Dr. Yoo earned a BA in human biology from Scripps College, a MSW from the California State University Long Beach, and a PhD from the University of Southern California, School of Social Work.
Kristin J. Ward, PhD
Trained as an evaluation methodologist, Kristin Ward has over 20 years of experience as principal and co-principal investigator on large and small scale process and impact evaluation studies for government agencies, philanthropic organizations, universities, and non-profit clients spanning the health and human services, education, and environmental fields.
Dr. Ward has conducted numerous formative and summative outcome evaluations in the areas of child welfare; mental health; teen dating and other youth violence prevention; environmental conservation; and family violence prevention, including parent, family, and community strengthening efforts. Prior to co-founding Clarus Research, Dr. Ward served on national evaluation teams leading components of federally funded multi-site violence prevention demonstration initiatives and providing evaluation technical assistance. As a leadership fellow and research analyst, she then helped to develop and manage the evaluation portfolio for the nation’s largest operating foundation focused on improving the foster care system.
At Clarus Research, Dr. Ward has co-led an array of evaluation studies, including a federally funded evaluation of efforts to increase delivery of trauma-informed services to Tribal reservations in Montana; a statewide participatory evaluation of the Mental Health Services Act in California; a national evaluation of innovative efforts to increase pro bono legal services; and a study of conservation strategies to protect endangered Pacific Seabirds. Dr. Ward specializes in mixing quantitative and qualitative methods and using evaluation as a tool for learning, empowerment, and social justice for vulnerable and underserved populations. She is highly experienced in evaluation planning and design, instrument and protocol development, data collection, integrated analyses, and effective management of evaluation teams. She has authored numerous technical evaluation reports, evaluation toolkits, and papers on evaluation theory and practice for academic and lay audiences.
Dr. Ward earned a BA in journalism and political science from the University of Iowa, as well as MS and PhD degrees in program evaluation from Cornell University.
Christina A. Christie, PhD
Christina (Tina) Christie is a Professor in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Christie has received funding from a variety of sources to evaluate social, education, and behavior programs targeting at-risk and underrepresented populations. She co-founded the Southern California Evaluation Association, a local affiliate of the American Evaluation Association, and is the former Chair of the Theories of Evaluation Division and current Chair of the Research on Evaluation Division of the American Evaluation Association. In 2004, Dr. Christie received the American Evaluation Association’s Marcia Guttentag Early Career Achievement Award. Dr. Christie was also a section editor of the American Journal of Evaluation and is on the editorial board of New Directions in Evaluation. She is the editor of the books Exemplars of Evaluation Practice (with Jody Fitzpatrick & Mel Mark; Sage, 2008) and What Counts as Credible Evidence in Evaluation and Evidence-based Practice? (with Stewart Donaldson & Mel Mark; Sage, 2008). Dr. Christie received her bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York, a Master of Arts and Master of Education from Teacher’s College at Columbia University, and a PhD from the University of California Los Angeles.
Christopher St. Vil, PhD, MSW
Subject Matter Expert Consultant
Christopher St. Vil is an Assistant Professor in the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. Prior to his appointment, Dr. St. Vil held a post-doctoral fellow position in the Department of African American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. His current research focuses on trauma and the experiences of victims of violent injury as well as mentoring. Dr. St. Vil received his PhD from the Howard University School of Social Work, his MSW from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and is a former Graduate Education Diversity Fellow of the American Evaluation Association.
Cricket Mitchell, PhD
Cricket Mitchell is a Clinical Research Psychologist with more than 10 years of experience as a research, evaluation, and program performance consultant. Dr. Mitchell is particularly interested in the sustainable adoption of evidence-based practices in usual care settings, as well as data-driven decision making in clinical service delivery. Her areas of expertise are in research design and methodology, quantitative data analysis, program evaluation, behavioral medicine, cognitive behavioral interventions, early childhood mental health, pediatric psychology, and violence prevention. Dr. Mitchell is a graduate of the Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology between the University of California at San Diego and San Diego State University.
Heather Dantzker, PhD
Heather Dantzker has more than 15 years of experience designing and implementing research and evaluation projects to protect and improve the environment and human health. She has worked in the areas of environmental health, pesticides and chemical risk, water quality and watershed management, stakeholder engagement, and outreach and communication. She has designed and implemented both qualitative and quantitative research and evaluation protocols in the context of collaborative watershed management; military base closure and cleanup; environmental justice; chemical emergencies; and volunteer water quality monitoring. She has particular expertise in the measurement of public knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding environmental issues, and the use of research results to better communicate with target audiences and stakeholders. She has managed projects for clients at the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among others. Dr. Dantzker earned a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, in Political Economy of Industrial Societies, and MS and PhD degrees in Natural Resources Policy and Management from Cornell University.
Lauren Dods, BA
Evaluation Associate & Senior Project Manager
Lauren Dods has over a decade of experience managing complex projects in the fields of program evaluation, government legislation and community outreach, and political campaigns. Part of her work with Clarus Research involves serving as a liaison between Clarus and key leadership stakeholders as well as managing the implementation of various Clarus projects. Along with her management capabilities, Ms. Dods provides evaluation support through instrument development, cognitive and usability testing, quantitative and qualitative data collection, qualitative data analysis, report writing, and delivering presentations. Clients Ms. Dods has worked with include Building Changes, the National Science Foundation, New York City Mayor’s Children’s Cabinet Early Years Collaborative, Polaris’ National Human Trafficking Hotline, and the University of Southern California’s Suzanne Dwoark-Peck School of Social Work. Ms. Dods’ past experience involves working with evaluators from the University of Southern California, University of California, Los Angeles, and the Claremont Graduate University, where she managed and executed key project components and served as a community liaison for First 5 Los Angeles’ Partnership for Families (PFF) Initiative Evaluation Team. She also worked for USC’s Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work by providing evaluation support for longitudinal outcomes of transracial and contemporary adoptive families. Along with program evaluation, Ms. Dods spent time in the public service arena—managing projects, casework, community outreach, and public policy for Hawaii’s First Congressional District. Serving as Senior Legislative Assistant on all matters relating to health and human services, education, public housing, small business, foreign affairs, and civil rights, Ms. Dods led initiatives and oversaw a portfolio where she interfaced with major US and State of Hawaii departments. Ms. Dods earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Southern California.
Lynne Marsenich, LCSW
Lynne Marsenich’s work focuses on bridging the gap between science and practice through the successful implementation of empirically-informed programs, treatments, and practices. She and her colleagues at the California Institute for Mental Health (CiMH) have developed a multi-level intervention to help transport evidence-based practices into publicly funded behavioral health, child welfare, and juvenile justice service systems. The intervention referred to as a Community Development Team has been used to help 32 California Counties and 30 community-based organizations successfully adopt, implement, and sustain seven separate evidence-based practices and programs. Ms. Marsenich is the Co-Principal Investigator on two NIMH-funded implementation grants. The first study tests the effectiveness of the Community Development Team. The second study examines the relationship between two different methods of implementing the Incredible Years parenting program and of promoting fidelity to the model. The study also tests the hypothesis that fidelity predicts positive outcomes for families. Prior to joining CiMH, Ms. Marsenich spent 20 years working in child and family service agencies – both public and private, non-profit – where she held a variety of positions from line practitioner to senior manager. Ms. Marsenich received her Bachelor’s degree from Pitzer College and her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Southern California School of Social Work.
Mona Gil de Gibaja, PhD, MSW
Mona Gil de Gibaja has worked in the human service field for more than 25 years. For the past 10 years, Dr. Gil de Gibaja has been working in Florida and California to create positive systems changes in the child welfare system. In California she improved training and practice models for one of the largest public child welfare systems in the nation. She also worked for a national operating foundation to create the Neighborhood-Based Prevention Initiative and worked collaboratively with community residents and numerous public, non-profit and private organizations to build on community strengths, address needs, and prevent child abuse and neglect in two Los Angeles communities. Further, she helped facilitate the redesign of the child welfare system in North Central Florida, working closely with the lead private nonprofit child welfare agency serving 13 primarily rural counties to safely reduce entry into the foster care system and reduce timelines to permanency. Most recently she helped facilitate the development of the Library Partnership-A Neighborhood Resource Center in a high risk, vulnerable community to help strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect. Dr. Gil de Gibaja received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Work from Florida International University and her doctorate in Social Work from the University of Southern California.
Nani Lee, JD, PhD, MJIL, MSW
Subject Matter Expert Consultant
Nani Lee has more than four decades of experience in the areas of: social work, law, administration (public and nonprofit), and academia. As an attorney, Dr. Lee utilized her knowledge and expertise in the area of child welfare and law to represent families in Dependency Court as a guardian ad litem, attorney, and policy advocate for children and youth. She consulted with Tribes in the areas of child welfare, health, and housing. She was the first Executive Director of Hawai`i Island’s Food Bank, engaging in capacity building as well as program, evaluation, and fund development. Dr. Lee’s leadership experience also includes serving as the Executive Director of the nonprofit Five Mountains; Deputy Administrator of Beneficiary Advocacy and Empowerment for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs; Project Coordinator for the California Grantsmanship Project under the Administration of Development Disabilities at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles; and a Legislative Consultant to the grassroots organization Nã Tutu. As an attorney in solo practice, Dr. Lee is licensed to practice in the State of Hawai`i, the District of Columbia, all federal courts, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. She is also currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California’s Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work where she also earned her Ph.D in Social Welfare. Dr. Lee earned her Juris Doctor and Master of Social Work from the University of Hawai`i-Manoa, and a Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law from the University of Tulsa College of Law.
Noelle M. St. Vil, PhD, MSW
Subject Matter Expert Consultant
Noelle M. St.Vil is an Assistant Professor in the University of Buffalo School of Social Work and focuses her research on intimate relationships. Specifically, she focuses on intimate partner violence, sexual behavior and well-being among Black women and girls. Currently, Dr. St. Vil is conducting a needs assessment for two agencies in Buffalo, NY in an effort to help them create culturally specific preventative interventions for intimate partner violence in Black communities. In recognition of her work, Dr. St. Vil was invited to serve as a member of UJIMA, Inc.: The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community, National Research and Evaluation Work Group (REWG). Dr. St. Vil received her PhD and MSW from the Howard University School of Social Work.
Noreen Cortez, MA
Noreen Cortez is interested in bridging the gap between research and practice to improve the effectiveness of developmental interventions. She has experience in evaluation design and implementation, drafting evaluation plans and logic models, survey development and analysis, and report writing. She has supported the implementation of evaluations for a variety of programs including a civic engagement and leadership program for middle school youth in Los Angeles, a partnership connecting local schools with behavioral health services, and a program providing police officer training that addresses interactions with vulnerable populations. Ms. Cortez also has over 10 years of experience working with youth in classroom and after-school settings. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Child and Adolescent Development and a multiple-subject teaching credential from California State University, Fullerton. She earned a Master’s degree in Positive Developmental Psychology and Program Evaluation from Claremont Graduate University.
Paul DiLorenzo, ACSW, MLSP
Subject Matter Expert Consultant
Paul DiLorenzo has four decades of experience in child welfare and youth development settings. He began his career as a caseworker in Philadelphia and has a held a series of progressively responsible administrative and consulting positions since that time. His commitment has been to advocacy, system improvement and innovation within the systems that serve children and their families. Mr. DiLorenzo led an agency that provided legal and social services to children who were in the dependency court system and then went on to serve in a senior role in Pennsylvania state government. He became the Director of the Children’s Division at American Humane Association, returned to Philadelphia as the city’s Director of Children’s Policy and eventually created his own consulting practice that managed a number of local, state and federal contracts. Mr. DiLorenzo was invited to serve as a Senior Director for Strategic Consulting at Casey Family Programs where he led a number of family support and primary prevention projects. He has published a number of articles in the child welfare and youth development literature and has presented at numerous events and conferences around the country. Mr. DiLorenzo has also been an Adjunct Professor at Temple University and served on numerous boards. He holds a Master’s Degree from Temple University in Social Work and a Master’s Degree in Law and Social Policy from Bryn Mawr College School of Social Work and Social Research.
Richard Tsujimoto, PhD
Richard Tsujimoto has been a Professor of Clinical Psychology at Pitzer College and The Claremont Graduate University for more than three decades, and he has conducted both academic and program evaluation research. Many of his publications are in applied clinical psychology areas – e.g., child abuse prediction, improving clinical judgment, cost-effective and valid clinical outcome measures, and child sexual abuse research. Dr. Tsujimoto earned a California Psychology License (currently on Inactive Status), and for years he treated clients in private practice. He has served as a consultant for the California Institute for Mental Health (CiMH) on numerous clinical support projects and research projects with county departments of mental health. For example, he helped L.A. County Department of Mental Health contract agencies to implement and sustain Triple P, an evidence-based intervention for disruptive behavior problems in children and adolescents. He has also contributed to numerous CiMH evaluation reports analyzing the outcomes of evidence-based interventions. Dr. Tsujimoto earned his BA in Psychology from Stanford University, and his PhD in Clinical Psychology from State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Rikke Addis, MA
Senior Evaluation Associate
Rikke Addis has more than 15 years of experience helping behavioral health organizations evaluate their services and implement data-driven culture. Ms. Addis is a certified Feedback-Informed Treatment (FIT) trainer and focuses on implementing use of client feedback to guide practice. Additional areas of expertise include quality improvement, accreditation, implementation science, and child welfare. She has experience with both quantitative and qualitative data analysis and is a member of the Global Implementation Society. Ms. Addis earned her bachelor's degree in Cultural Anthropology and American Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz and holds a Master's degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Shelley Levin, PhD, LCSW
Subject Matter Expert Consultant
Shelley Levin has over 35 years of clinical and administrative experience with service provision to adults with serious mental illnesses. She developed the first PACT team for older adults in Los Angeles County and served as its Director for four years. She was the Director of Staff Development for Telecare Corporation where she designed and oversaw training programs for over 70 mental health programs spread throughout 7 states. Dr. Levin was the Director of Research for the Mental Health Association of Los Angeles and was a member of the executive team that launched the Village Integrated Services Agency, which became a model for the California Mental Health Services Act. She recently retired from the clinical teaching faculty of the University of Southern California School of Social Work where she taught courses on assessment of and intervention with persons with serious mental illnesses. She has published widely and presented at local, national and international conferences. Dr. Levin received her MSW and PhD from the University of Southern California School of Social Work and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of California.
Todd Franke, PhD, MSW
Todd Franke is a Professor in the Luskin School of Public Affairs, Department of Social Welfare at UCLA. He has 27 years of experience conducting cross-sectional and longitudinal research in a variety of interconnected fields including child welfare, education, juvenile justice, mental health, and adolescent violence. His experience includes data analysis (multivariate, predictive analytics, machine learning), data visualization, and linking large existing datasets together for the social good. Over the years, Dr. Franke worked on numerous evaluation projects in these areas. In the area of child welfare, he worked on multiple levels including examining the child welfare system and the related systems involved in the lives of children and families (e.g, health, mental health, juvenile justice, education, housing), workers and worker training, as well as children and families. He has received over $90 million dollars in funding. Dr. Franke recently completed a study examining the link between children in out-of-home care and early childhood education through a project funded by the Administration for Children and Families. In addition to working with the Center of Excellence at UCLA around Trauma informed practice/training, he currently oversees the training provided to all new and current staff at the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services as well as the cross-training that is beginning to occur between county agencies and for service providers and families. Dr. Franke received his MSW and PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin.