The California Children’s Trust is committed to working together to reinvent our state’s approach to children’s social, emotional, and developmental health. We are a statewide initiative that seeks to improve child well-being through policy and systems reform.

Steering Committee

Advisors, Funders & Coalition Partners


  • Ali Acevedo
  • Juline Aguilar
  • Bonnie Anderson
  • Joy Anderson
  • Tomas Aragon
  • Sarah Arnquist
  • Jorge Arroyo
  • Joe Austin
  • Sandena Bader
  • Kathy Bargar-Viarengo
  • Stacy Berrest
  • Jill Berrick
  • Bonnie Blumenthal
  • Alex Boskovich
  • Diana Boyer
  • Heather Briscoe, MD
  • Mildred Browne
  • Carla Bryant
  • Janis Burger
  • Maureen Burness
  • Y’Anad Burrell‏
  • Robert Byrd
  • Dede C.
  • Melanie Callen
  • Kendra Chaikind
  • Laurel Coates
  • Benjamin Cone
  • Susan Connolly
  • Gabriel Devlin
  • Meghan Dinh
  • Clement Donahue, MD
  • Diane Dooley, MD
  • Kate Dove
  • Martha Duarte
  • Cecilia Echeverria
  • Holly Edds
  • Kimberly Erlich
  • Larissa Estes
  • Susannah Faulkner
  • Gwen Foster
  • Tammy Frates
  • Tim Fulenwider
  • Liliana Gonzalez
  • Christine Graham
  • Lupe Grimaldi
  • Jason Haley
  • Holly Henry
  • Janet Hung
  • Yolanda Jammer
  • Laurie Kappe
  • Erica Kesel
  • Hayin Kimner
  • Frances King
  • Glenda Kith
  • Suanne Kowal-Connelly
  • Lisa Krekler
  • Beth Kuenstler
  • Dawn Kurtz
  • Amanda Lanceplaine
  • Lisa Linder
  • Bertram Lubin
  • Charles Maas
  • Adonai Mack
  • Shawn Mansager
  • Christopher Marics
  • Elizabeth Mercado
  • Roya Mason
  • Alex Mays
  • Alma McKenry
  • Reid Meadows
  • Amie Miller
  • Abigail Palmer Molina
  • E. Beth Nelsen
  • Sam Neustadt
  • Corey Newhouse
  • Jessica Owens
  • Ryan Padrez
  • Lyn Farr Peuler
  • Suzie Polla
  • Cathy Pope
  • Julie Quater
  • Bernales Renzo
  • Virginia Reynolds
  • Sarah Rock
  • Rebecca Ross
  • Gloria Ruiz
  • Valerie Shapiro
  • Hoda Shawky
  • Amber Skrumbis
  • Alice Stroud
  • Angie Sutherland
  • Kimiko Vang
  • Courtney Venegas
  • Alan Vietze
  • Raelene Walker
  • Steve Weiss
  • Jevon Wilkes
  • Michael Williams
  • Shelton Yip
  • Charles Zellerbach


Alex Briscoe, Principal

Alex Briscoe was appointed director of the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency in 2009 where he led one of the state’s largest public health systems, overseeing health and hospital systems, public health, behavioral health, and environmental health departments with an annual budget of $700 million and 6,200 FTE contracted and civil service staff. Before joining the county, he was the director of the Chappell Hayes Health Center at McClymonds High School in West Oakland, a satellite outpatient center of Children’s Hospital and Research Center. Mr. Briscoe’s work has helped design the nexus of public health and public education. He has designed and administered a number of mental health and physical health programs and services in child serving systems, including home visiting programs, programs for medically fragile children, and clinical and development programs in child welfare, juvenile justice, and early childhood settings. Mr. Briscoe has served on the Alameda County First Five Commission, The Alameda Alliance, and The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and The Uninsured, as well as a number of other public and private boards and commissions. Mr. Briscoe is a mental health practitioner specializing in adolescent services and youth development. He has advised or collaborated with a number of local and national foundations including The Atlantic Philanthropies, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The California Endowment, and most recently with Tipping Point Community. He has specialized in Medicaid policy and administration, emergency medical services, youth voice and crisis counseling, and safety net design and administration.


Rhea W. Boyd, Director, Equity and Justice

Rhea W. Boyd, MD, MPH is a pediatrician and child and community health advocate. She works clinically at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and serves as the Chief Medical Officer of San Diego 211. She teaches students and trainees about the relationship between structural inequality, poverty, racism and health and is active in the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), serving on the board of California Chapter 1, and as a member of the AAP’s national Executive Committee on Communications and Media. Over the past 5 years, Dr. Boyd helped organize a group of public health officials, clinicians, community advocates, and funders to evaluate and address the impact of harmful police practices and policies on child and public health. She also worked with a San Francisco-based tech non-profit to increase access to social services across the Bay Area as a means to improving child and community health. Dr. Boyd is the author of the blog Rhea.MD (, where she critically engages the intersections of health and justice. Dr. Boyd earned a M.D. at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and completed her pediatric residency at University of California, San Francisco, where she participated in the Pediatric Leadership for the Underserved Program. In 2017, Dr. Boyd graduated from the Commonwealth Fund Mongan Minority Health Policy Fellowship at Harvard University’s School of Public Health where she received an M.P.H.


Reed Connell, Director, External Affairs

In nearly 20 years working in foster care, mental health, housing, and special education settings, Reed Connell has developed a sophisticated knowledge of children’s policy development at all levels of government. For the past several years, Reed has worked with statewide and national coalitions to design, pass, and implement a range of important children’s legislation, including AB12, California’s implementation of the federal Fostering Connections to Success Act. From 2009 to 2013, Reed served as the Executive Director of the Alameda County Foster Youth Alliance, an effective and highly visible local advocacy agency. In 2014, Reed co-founded Social Change Partners, LLC to support the effectiveness of California nonprofits and government agencies that seek to support our state’s most vulnerable children and families. Reed has worked with advocates, providers, and coalitions throughout the state on issues related to local control and flexible financing, the impacts of Realignment and Health Care Reform on child and adolescent mental health systems, and the development of accountability infrastructure. Reed holds an MSW degree from UC Berkeley with a concentration in Management and Planning.


Nila Rosen, Director, Strategy and Integration

Nila Rosen has two decades of experience providing strategic planning, evaluation, and applied research assistance to philanthropic, nonprofit, healthcare start-ups, and governmental agencies as well as large-scale initiatives. She provides direction to the California Children’s Trust in strategic planning, research and evaluation, change management, coalition building, and organizational development in order to bring systems into alignment with vision and social change. Her areas of focus are building healthy and resilient individuals, communities, and environments and the interactions between these systems. As a consultant, her clients have included a broad array of organizations in the safety net, reproductive health, and behavioral healthcare space including Blue Shield of California Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Stanford University, and the Behavioral Health Services of Santa Clara County. Nila held a 10-year tenure as a Statewide Communications Liaison and a Research Scientist implementing the California Department of Public Health’s statewide response to the autism epidemic. In this position, she worked to enhance system-wide collaboration between the state’s child-serving education, developmental, and medical systems and with clinics and community organizations throughout California. Nila holds an MPH in Epidemiology focused on Maternal Child Health from the University of California, Berkeley.