Board of Directors
The CHDI Board of Directors includes representatives from academia, state government, the business and finance community and parent advocates. Board members provide perspectives from a range of professions including pediatrics, psychiatry, nursing, education, law, and business.
The CHDI Board of Directors is chaired by Linda Mayes, MD. Linda is the Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology and Director of the Yale Child Study Center.
Joanne Corbin, PhD, MPhil, MSS
— Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, UConn School of Social Work
Joanne Corbin is Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the UConn School of Social Work. She is a qualitative researcher. Her current areas of research include the effect of armed conflict and displacement on social, cultural, and economic networks and community-based interventions in post-conflict settings, with a focus on northern Uganda. A second area of scholarship is systemic social work practice in public school settings.
Read Full Bio
Prior to joining UCONN, Dr. Corbin was a Professor and Director of the PhD program for the School for Social Work at Smith College and an Assistant Professor at the Yale Child Study Center. She earned her PhD and MPhil at the School of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale University and her MSS at Bryn Mawr College. She also completed the HERS Institute Higher Education Leadership Development Program at Bryn Mawr College. She was awarded Smith College School for Social Work Alumni Association’s Honorary Alumna Award and the National Association of Social Workers’ Massachusetts Chapter Greatest Contribution to Social Work Education for her work with and on behalf of children. Dr. Corbin serves on the CHDI Board of Director’s Program, Equity, and Communications Committee.
Maryellen Doyle, MS
— Principal, Investor Relations at HarbourVest Partners
CHDI Board Treasurer
Maryellen Doyle is the Principal, Investor Relations at HarbourVest Partners, LLC. Prior to joining HarbourVest, she was with Landmark Partners as Vice President, Investor Relations and Business Development for two years. Ms. Doyle spent 14 years with Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM) where she was most recently an executive director of U.S. consultant relations. During her tenure at MSIM, Maryellen also worked as a portfolio specialist for Alternative Investment Partners and as a member of the firm’s Strategic Client Group.
Read Full Bio
Prior to joining Landmark in 2019, she spent 14 years with Morgan Stanley Investment Management where she served as an executive director of U.S. consultant relations, a portfolio specialist for Alternative Investment Partners, and as a member of the firm’s Strategic Client Group. Maryellen is a founding member of the Providence College “PC to Wall Street” Council. She earned an M.S. in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from New York University and a B.A. in Humanities from Providence College.
Maryellen serves as CHDI Board Treasurer. She also chairs the board Finance and Investments Committee and serves on the Executive and Governance Committee.
— Chief Financial Officer, UConn Health
Jeffrey Geoghegan is the Chief Financial Officer for UConn Health, which includes the UConn School of Medicine, UConn School of Dental Medicine, John Dempsey Hospital, and the University physician practice. He has over two decades of leadership and not-for-profit healthcare and education experience. As CFO, he has responsibility for all of UConn Health’s financial operations including a $1.4 billion operating budget, financial planning and reporting, strategic planning, and all revenue cycle operations.
Read Full Bio
Before joining UConn Health, Jeff worked for Price Waterhouse Coopers in Hartford. During this time, he specialized in not-for-profit advisory services. Born and raised in Connecticut Jeff is a graduate of Southern Connecticut State University and lives in Cheshire with his family.
Jeff joined CHDI's Board of Directors in December 2021. He serves on the board's Finance and Investment Committee and Audit Committee.
Linda Mayes, MD
— Director of Yale Child Study Center
CHDI Board Chair
Linda Mayes is the Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology and Director of the Yale Child Study Center. She is also Special Advisor to the Dean in the Yale School of Medicine and a Distinguished Visiting Professor in psychology at Sewanee: The University of the South where she is working on intervention programs to enhance child and family resilience.
Read Full Bio
Trained as a pediatrician, Dr. Mayes' research focuses on stress-response and regulatory mechanisms in young children at both biological and psychosocial risk. She has especially focused on the impact of prenatal substance use on children’s long-term outcome. She has made contributions to understanding the mechanisms of effect of prenatal stimulant exposure on the ontogeny of arousal regulatory systems and the relation between dysfunctional emotional regulation and impaired prefrontal cortical function in young children. She has published widely in the developmental psychology, pediatrics, and child psychiatry literature.
Given the nature of her work with children at significantly high-risk for developmental impairments from both biological and psychosocial etiologies, Dr. Mayes also focuses on the impact of parenting on the development of arousal and attention regulatory mechanisms in their children and specifically on how substance abuse impacts reward and stress regulatory systems in new parents. With other colleagues in the Center, she studies how adults transition to parenthood especially when substance abuse is involved and the basic neural circuitry of early parent-infant attachment using both neuroimaging and electroencephalographic techniques. She and her colleagues have developed a series of interventions for parents including an intensive home-based program called Minding the Baby. Her research programs are multidisciplinary not only in their blending basic science with clinical interventions but also in the disciplines required including adult and child psychiatry, behavioral neuroscience, obstetrics, pediatrics, and neuropsychology.
Dr. Mayes serves as Chair of the CHDI Board of Directors. She also chairs the Executive and Governance Committee and the Program, Equity, and Communications Committee.
Josh Mullin, LLM
— Vice President, Associate General Counsel, and Assistant Secretary, Otis Worldwide Corporation
Josh Mullin is Vice President, Associate General Counsel, and Assistant Secretary at Otis Worldwide Corporation where he specializes in governance, compliance, finance, and employment-related matters. He previously worked for United Technologies Corporation (UTC) and Rockwell Collins where he assisted with the integration of Rockwell Collins as a UTC company and the spin-off of Otis and Carrier as independent companies.
Read Full Bio
Josh holds a master of laws degree (LLM) from the University of Toronto and a bachelor of laws (LLB) from the Queens University. He serves on CHDI's Finance and Investments Committee and Program, Equity, and Communications Committee.
Harry Norman, CFA
— Head of Asset/Liability Management, The Hartford
Harry Norman is Head of Asset/Liability Management at The Hartford, where he has worked for over twenty years. He is a senior leader within The Hartford's Enterprise Risk Management organization and is responsible for the oversight and management of the company’s market risk profile and risk governance structure and for developing long-term investment strategies.
Read Full Bio
A graduate of Fairfield University, he is a CFA charter holder and Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA). Harry will serve on CHDI's Finance and Investments Committee and Audit Committee.
Jennifer Oppenheim, PsyD
— Co-Director/Co-Founder, Thriving Together, LLC
Jennifer Oppenheim is a clinical child psychologist with more than 30 years of experience in the fields of infant and early childhood mental health, maternal mental health, and large-scale systems change efforts. She is the co-Founder and co-Director of Thriving Together, LLC, a consulting firm offering training, technical assistance, and thought partnership to support infant and early childhood mental health/early relational health.
Read Full Bio
Dr. Oppenheim started her career doing therapeutic work with children and families. She oversaw the creation and implementation of a school-based health center and mental health and social services program, and worked as a consultant designing program evaluations for child abuse prevention, home visiting, and school readiness initiatives. More recently she served for fourteen years as the Senior Advisor on Early Childhood in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Oppenheim’s work at SAMHSA included development and leadership of Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health), Indigenous Project LAUNCH, the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health grant program, and the Center of Excellence for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation. Dr. Oppenheim received her undergraduate degree from Yale University, where she was awarded the Angier Prize for Excellence in Psychological Research. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Rutgers University, writing her dissertation on the topic of women and courage.
Dr. Oppenheim serves on the CHDI Board of Director’s Program, Equity, and Communications Committee and the Audit Committee.
Wizdom Powell, PhD, MPH
— Chief Social Impact and Diversity Officer, Headspace Health
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, UConn Health
Wisdom Powell is a psychologist, tenured professor, and nationally recognized expert on racial trauma, healing, and health equity. She currently serves as the Chief Social Impact and Diversity Officer at Headspace Health and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at UConn Health. She also serves as the President-Elect of the American Psychological Association, Division 51 Men and Masculinities, and is an honorary professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban South Africa.
Read Full Bio
Prior to joining Headspace Health, Dr. Powell served as Director of The University of Connecticut Health Disparities Institute and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at UConn Health. Her global health research investigates the interplay between stress (e.g., race-related), social constructions of masculinity, and Black male health disparities. In 2011-2012, she was appointed by President Obama to serve as a White House Fellow to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. In addition to being a White House Fellow, she is an American Psychological Association (APA) Minority, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Kaiser Permanente Burch Leadership, Institute of African American Research, and Ford Foundation Fellow. Dr. Powell was awarded a 2017 academic writing residency at the Bellagio Center from the Rockefeller Foundation.
Dr. Powell serves on the CHDI Board of Directors' Program, Equity, and Communications Committee.
Dr. Powell's testimony at the Committee on Ways and Means hearing on “America’s Mental Health Crisis” on February 2, 2022.
Galo Rodriguez, MPH
— President and CEO, The Village for Families & Children
CHDI Board Secretary
Galo Rodriguez is President and CEO of The Village for Families & Children. In his leadership role, Galo provides the vision for the agency; he is often its face and its voice, speaking on behalf of its leadership team and over 400 dedicated professional staff.
Read Full Bio
He has committed himself to building an organization of talented, skilled, dedicated employees, one that embraces and honors diversity, openness and innovation. He has high standards of excellence for himself and all employees – with the goal of providing the highest level of treatment, service and advocacy for our clients.
Prior to The Village, Galo was the chief operating officer of Catholic Charities, overseeing programs in Hartford, Litchfield and New Haven counties. His career at Catholic Charities spanned 16 years, where he rose to serve as executive director of the Hartford region and director of the Institute for the Hispanic Family. He serves on the Connecticut Behavioral Health Partnership Oversight Council, and the board of directors of the Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Connecticut Council of Family Services Agencies, Connecticut Association of Human Services, and Hartford Federal Credit Union. He also participates with the Alliance for Children and Families and National Council for Behavioral Health. He was a recipient of a 2015 Polaris Award from Leadership Greater Hartford.
Galo earned a master's in public health from UConn and received his training and licensure as a Doctor of Medicine and Surgery from the University of Cartagena in his native Colombia, South America. His medical career included serving as a family physician with the Colombia Red Cross, in a city hospital and in private practice, as well as a physician in a psychiatry and substance abuse program in San Pablo Hospital in Cartegena.
Galo serves as the CHDI Board Secretary. He also chairs the board Audit Committee and serves on the Finance and Investment Committee and Executive and Governance Committee.
Melissa Santos, PhD
— Interim Division Chief, Pediatric Psychology, Connecticut Children's Specialty Group
Clinical Director, Obesity Center, Connecticut Children's Specialty Group
Melissa Santos is a licensed psychologist and the Interim Division Chief of Pediatric Psychology at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, where she specializes in the family treatment of pediatric obesity. She works with adolescents and their families preparing for bariatric surgery and families participating in non-surgical weight management programming. Dr. Santos also supervises psychology and medical students in clinical and research activities within the obesity program.
Read Full Bio
Prior to her current role at Connecticut Children's, Dr. Santos received a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Texas Tech University and completed Postdoctoral Fellowships in Medical Psychology at the Medical College of Georgia, and in Child & Adolescent Clinical Psychology the Institute of Living/CCMC.
Melissa serves on the Program, Equity, & Communications Committee, and the Audit Committee for the CHDI Board of Directors.
Jeffrey Vanderploeg, PhD
— President & CEO
Child Health and Development Institute
Jeff Vanderploeg is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Child Health and Development Institute. He joined CHDI in 2009 and was appointed President and CEO of CHDI on October 1, 2017. Dr. Vanderploeg serves on the CHDI Board of Directors.
Read Full Bio
Vanderploeg received a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Bowling Green State University, completed Predoctoral and Postdoctoral training at Yale University School of Medicine, and was a research faculty member at Yale before joining CHDI in 2009. He initially began as a Program Associate before being promoted to Associate Director of Mental Health in 2011, and Vice President for Mental Health Initiatives in 2014.
During his career at CHDI, he played a central role in developing effective policies, systems, and practices for the prevention and treatment of mental health conditions among children and adolescents and their families. He was the lead author of the Connecticut Children’s Behavioral Health Plan, a comprehensive blueprint for addressing the behavioral health needs of youth, which has remained a significant guiding framework for state-wide reform. He was also the co-developer of the Connecticut School-Based Diversion Initiative (SBDI) model and was instrumental in creating a quality improvement system for the state’s mobile crisis system.
In addition to his role as CHDI President and CEO, Vanderploeg serves on the Behavioral Health Plan Implementation Advisory Board, co-chairs the Quality, Access and Policy Subcommittee of the CT Behavioral Health Partnership Oversight Council, and is a member of several other committees and councils in children’s behavioral health policy development. He holds faculty appointments in Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine and the University of Connecticut Health Center School of Medicine.