CECANF Commissioners

The President and Congress have selected the 12 members of the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF), which was established by the Protect Our Kids Act of 2012. The Commission is tasked with developing a national strategy and recommendations for reducing fatalities across the country resulting from child abuse and neglect.

The President’s Six Appointments:

Dr. David Sanders, Appointee for Chairperson, Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities

Dr. David Sanders is an Executive Vice President for Casey Family Programs, a position he has held since 2006.  Dr. Sanders previously served as the Director of the Los Angeles County Children and Family Services Department from 2003 to 2006.  From 1985 to 2003, Dr. Sanders worked at the Hennepin County Children, Family and Adult Services Department in Minneapolis.  He began his career at the Department as a Clinical Psychologist before becoming a Senior Clinical Psychologist in 1987, and later the Chief Clinical Psychologist in 1990.  Dr. Sanders went on to serve as Human Services Director for Children and Family Services from 1993 to 2001 and for Children Family and Adult Services during his final two years at the Department.  In 2003, Dr. Sanders received the Congressional Angels in Adoption Award, and the Peter W. Forsythe Award for Leadership in Public Child Welfare in 2007.  Dr. Sanders received a B.A. in Psychology from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota.

Theresa Martha Covington, Appointee for Member, Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities

Theresa Martha Covington is the Director of the National Center for the Review and Prevention of Child Deaths, a position she has held at the Michigan Public Health Institute since 2003.  From 1995 to 2009, she was Senior Program Director of the Michigan Public Health Institute’s Child and Adolescent Health Program Area.  From 1989 to 1995, she managed the Northwestern Teen Health Center and the Beecher Teen Health Center.  From 1986 to 1987, she coordinated outreach programs for the Mott Children’s Health Center, and from 1985 to 1987 she coordinated the Genesee Child Health Council.  She serves on the Board of Directors for Parent Heart Watch and on the Advisory Boards of the Children’s Safety Network and the National Fetal and Infant Mortality Review National Resource Center.  She received a B.S. from the University of Michigan and a M.P.H. from the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

Patricia M. Martin, Appointee for Member, Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities

Patricia M. Martin is Presiding Judge of the Child Protection Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, a position she has held since 2000.  Her previous roles at the Circuit Court of Cook County include Judge of the Law Division from 1998 to 2000 and Judge of the Child Protection Division from 1996 to 1998.  From 1986 to 1996, she worked in various roles in the Office of the Cook County Public Defender; she was the Deputy Chief of the Fifth District from 1994 to 1996, an Attorney Trial Supervisor from 1989 to 1994, and an Assistant Public Defender from 1986 to 1989.  She is a member and past chair of the Supreme Court of Illinois Judicial Conference Study Committee on Juvenile Justice. She also formerly was president of the Board of Trustees of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.  She was a recipient of the C. F. Stradford Award from the Cook County State’s Attorney in 2007.  Judge Martin received a B.S. from Middlebury College and a J.D. from Northern Illinois University College of Law.

Michael R. Petit, Appointee for Member, Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities

Michael R. Petit is the President and Founder of Every Child Matters Education Fund, a position he has held since 2001.  Previously, Mr. Petit served as Deputy Director of the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) from 1995 to 2001 and as the Director of the CWLA National Center for Excellence in Child Welfare from 1990 to 1994.  From 1987 to 1990, Mr. Petit was Principal at Michael Petit Associates, where he consulted on child welfare issues to states and child welfare agencies.  Mr. Petit was Commissioner for the Maine Department of Human Services from 1979 to 1987 and a member of the National Governors Association Staff Advisory Council on Human Services from 1985 to 1986.  Mr. Petit received a B.A. from Bowdoin College and an M.S.W. from Boston College.

Jennifer Rodriguez, Appointee for Member, Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities

Jennifer Rodriguez is Executive Director of the Youth Law Center (YLC), a position she has held since 2012.  Ms. Rodriguez’s previous roles at YLC include Staff Attorney from 2008 to 2011 and Fellow from 2007 to 2008.  As a former foster child, Ms. Rodriguez is an advocate for vulnerable children and youth.  Prior to her work at the YLC, Ms. Rodriguez worked for the California Youth Connection as the Legislative and Policy Manager from 2002 to 2007 and a Youth Organizer from 1999 to 2002.  She is currently a board member of the California Youth Connection. She previously served as a board member of the California Court Appointed Special Advocates, and the National Association of Counsel for Children.  Ms. Rodriguez was the recipient of the 2007 California Foster Care Change a Lifetime Award.  She received a B.A. in Sociology and a J.D. from the University of California-Davis with an emphasis on public interest law.

Dr. David Rubin, Appointee for Member, Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities

Dr. David Rubin is an Attending Pediatrician at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, a position he has held since 2001.  Since 2009, he has also been an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine.  Since 2008, he has been the founding Co-Director of PolicyLab at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, a center that uses interdisciplinary research to inform programs and policies for children.  He previously served as the Director of Research & Policy from 2004 to 2011 and the Fellowship Director from 2003 to 2010 for Safe Place: The Center for Child Protection and Health, a comprehensive program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia that addresses critical issues associated with child abuse, neglect, and foster care.  Dr. Rubin received a B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.D. from the University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine, and an M.S. in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

The Six Congressional Appointments:

(3 Senate)

Marilyn Bruguier Zimmerman Director National Native Children’s Trauma Center (Max Baucus)

Marilyn J. Bruguier Zimmerman is an enrolled member of the Assiniboine-Sioux tribes of the Fort Peck reservation.   She is the Director National Native Children’s Trauma Center and also serves as Associate Director of the Institute for Educational Research and Services which allows her to work throughout the nation on culturally-relevant, evidence-based interventions to treat childhood traumatic stress, reduce risk factors and increase protective factors for substance abuse, violence and suicide amongst AI/AN youth. Ms. Zimmerman is a certified trainer in the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) and Suicide Alertness for Everyone (safeTALK) programs.  She is also a frequently invited speaker at the tribal, state, regional and national levels on the issues of childhood trauma, compassion fatigue, historical trauma, suicide prevention and resiliency promotion.She serves on Indian Health Service’s National Suicide Prevention Committee and is currently a member of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s American Indian/Alaska Native Task Force.

Amy Ayoub, public speaking and presentation skills coach (Harry Reid)

Amy Ayoub has been active in the fight to prevent child abuse and neglect
. In February 2013, she testified in front of the Nevada State Assembly and Senate judiciary committee, using her personal story in support of  Assembly Bill 67, a bill known as the sex trafficking bill.  It seeks to increase penalties for those convicted of sex trafficking.   She is considered a highly sought-after speaker for her engaging presentations. She frequently speaks on conquering your fear of public speaking, increasing your business through effective public speaking, capitalizing on your individual communication style, and relationship building. Amy is a former licensed financial planner and has been a successful fundraiser for over 30 years. She serves on the Board of Directors for The Mob Museum, and as an Ambassador for St. Jude’s Ranch for Children. Amy was honored as one of the “2012 Women of Distinction” in her field by the Southern Nevada chapter of National Association of Women Business Owners. Governor Kenny Guinn selected Amy as the first female to serve on the Nevada Athletic Commission in 1999.

Wade Horn, Director with Deloitte Consulting (Mitch McConnell)

Dr. Wade F. Horn, Ph.D., is a director with Deloitte Consulting LLP in the organization’s public sector practice, where he is a key adviser to health and human services clients of Deloitte Consulting’s state government practice. Dr Horn is a former assistant secretary for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).  Wade previously served as the commissioner for Children, Youth and Families and as chief of the Children’s Bureau within DHHS. He transitioned from that role to serve as president of the National Fatherhood Initiative – an organization dedicated to improving the well-being of children by increasing the number of children growing up with involved, committed and responsible fathers. Wade has a doctorate in clinical psychology from Southern Illinois University and has served as associate director of Michigan State University’s Psychological Clinic. He also has held the position of director of outpatient psychological services at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center and associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at George Washington University.

(3 House):

Bud Cramer, Former Member of Congress (Nancy Pelosi)

Was a member of the United States House of Representatives representing Alabama’s 5th his first successful election as the Democratic candidate in 1990 until his retirement in January 2009.  In 1985, he founded the National Children’s Advocacy Center, a child-friendly environment for abused children.  His early public career started in 1973, Cramer was appointed assistant district attorney in Madison County, a position he held until going into private practice in 1975. He remained in private practice until 1980, when he challenged the incumbent Madison County District Attorney and won at age 33. He was district attorney from 1981 to 1990, until Rep. Ronnie Flippo ran unsuccessfully for governor. Cramer ran for the vacant Congressional seat.He founded the National Children’s Advocacy Center  in 1985 when he was a District Attorney in an effort to organize a better system to help abused children. The child advocacy center model attempts to pull together law enforcement, criminal justice, child protective service, medical and mental health workers onto one coordinated team.  Through its influence in training, communities across the country began to model their child abuse programs after the NCAC in Huntsville. In addition to training programs throughout the year, the NCAC hosts the National Symposium on Child Abuse in March of each year in Huntsville, Alabama.

Cassie Bevan, lecturer, Graduate School of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania (John Boehner)

Dr. Cassie Statuto Bevan has had an extensive career in child advocacy. Dr. Bevan earned a Master of Arts, Master of Education and a doctorate in Child Development from Columbia University. Dr. Bevan completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Bush Program for Child Development in Social Policy at the University of Michigan, where she focused on translating evidence-based research into effective policy. Dr. Bevan worked in Washington, DC on a Congressional Science Fellowship with the Society for Research in Child Development. She was appointed Staff Director on the Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families of the U.S. House of Representatives. She also worked with the National Council for Adoption and became the principal investigator of the Child Protection Project. In 1995, Dr. Bevan was appointed as professional staff and majority staff director for the Committee on Ways and Means, and in 2001, began working as the senior policy advisor to the Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Dr. Bevan has been critical in the drafting and enactment of leading child advocacy legislation, including the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) of 1997 and the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999.

Susan N. Dreyfus, President and CEO of the Alliance for Children and Families  (John Boehner)

Susan N. Dreyfus is president and CEO of Families International, the parent organization of the Alliance for Children and Families, United Neighborhood Centers of America(UNCA), Ways to Work, and FEI Behavioral Health. Prior to joining Families International on Jan. 3, 2012, Dreyfus was Secretary for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. She was appointed by Gov. Chris Gregoire in May 2009 and served as a member of the Governor’s Executive Cabinet. Dreyfus has rejoined the Families International group of organizations. She served as senior vice president and chief operating officer for both Families International and the Alliance from 2003-2007. In 1996 she was appointed by the Gov. Tommy G. Thompson Administration in Wisconsin to be the first administrator of the Division of Children and Family Services. Her responsibilities included child welfare, child care quality and licensing, youth development and an array of emergency assistance and other community programs.