Introducing the CCCN
Who We Are
Board of Directors
Dr. Becky Bailey | Dr. Karen Blackmon | Dr. Michelle Fernandes | Dr. Desiree LaBeaud | Dr. Penny Holding | Dr. Jaipaul L. Roopnarine | Casandra Mitchell | Dr. Anuraj Shankar | Muneera Rasheed | James Cairns | Yvonne Da Breo | Sr. Julie Marie Peters
Dr. Becky Bailey
Dr. Becky Bailey the founder of Conscious Discipline, an award-winning program that has impacted millions of children, teachers, and caregivers around the world. She is an author, educator, and internationally recognized expert in childhood education and developmental psychology. She has provided invaluable intellectual, emotional, and financial support to CCCN and to Saving Brains Grenada.
Dr. Karen Blackmon
Karen Blackmon, Ph.D., ABPP-CN is a clinical psychologist with specialization in lifespan disorders of cognition. She has held faculty positions at New York University, St. George’s University, and Mayo Clinic and is board certified in clinical neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. In addition to CCCN, she serves on the board of directors for the International Neuropsychological Society (INS). She is the recipient of the INS Laird S. Cermak Award for memory research and the Grass Young Investigator Award from the American Epilepsy Society. She has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, USAID, Wellcome Leap, and Epilepsy Foundation. As part of her commitment to global health, she participates in several multi-national efforts to harmonize data collection, with the aim of reducing global disparities in neurocognitive disorders.
Dr. Michelle Fernandes
Dr. Fernandes is a clinical academic at the Universities of Southampton and Oxford; a practicing neonatologist at Princess Anne Hospital, Southampton; and a member of CCCN’s scientific advisory board. Her research focuses on the epidemiology of international early child development (ECD). She led the construction of the first international ECD standards, complementing the INTERGROWTH-21st fetal and the WHO child growth standards. Since 2014, she has collaborated with WINDREF on 5 research projects and is passionate about developing capacity in ECD research and clinical practice in the Caribbean.
Dr. Desiree LaBeaud
Dr. Desiree LaBeaud is a physician-scientist, epidemiologist, and professor in the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Stanford University’s School of Medicine. Dr. LaBeaud studies the epidemiology and ecology of domestic and international arboviruses and emerging infections, with an interest in the vector, host, and environmental factors that affect transmission dynamics and the spectrum of disease. She currently heads a clinical research lab focused on better understanding the risk factors and long-term health consequences of arboviral infections and the most effective means of prevention.
Dr. Penny Holding
Dr. Penny Holding applies her experience as a Social/Educational/Developmental Psychologist to facilitate the achievement of effective and sustainable change. Her relationship with CCCN began through conversations around the development of assessment methods that address context and inform practice. Out of practical knowledge from research, therapy and teaching&learning, has come the development of “Measurement For Change” (M4C), critical thinking for positive choices. CCCN has been a partner in this process. The objective is to create durable and valued change, and equitable structures of accountability and responsibility. At the heart of M4C is a call for a fundamental shift towards participatory methods in the design of social intervention systems.
Dr. Jaipaul L. Roopnarine
Jaipaul L. Roopnarine is a Pearl S. Falk Professor of Human Development and Family Science at Syracuse University, USA and Professor Extraordinary of Developmental Psychology at Anton de Kom University of Suriname, Paramaribo, Suriname. His main research interest is in father-child relationships and childhood outcomes in diverse cultural and ethnic groups around the world and has published extensively in the child development and early childhood education areas. He is the current editor of Caribbean Journal of Psychology.
Guided by the mantra "we can be the change we wish to see," activist and entrepreneur, Casandra Mitchell, brings over a decade and a half of senior non-profit management to the team. She has worked with at-risk groups such as women, youth, LGTBQ and PWD. Understanding that no single approach is the 'right' one for every individual, she continues to devote her time to advocating on issues centered around gender equality, human rights and good governance. She enjoys travelling, most outdoor activities and is an avid reader.
Dr. Anuraj Shankar
Anuraj Shankar leads research in community health at the Eijkman-Oxford Clinical Research Unit in Jakarta, Indonesia, and is a research fellow at the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford. His work spans from biomedicine to global health policy, with a unifying theme of regulation and resilience of complex systems at the biological, behavioral and programmatic level. Dr. Shankar has extensive experience as a principal investigator of trials in low and middle income countries assessing effects of nutrition and other interventions on maternal, newborn and child mortality and morbidity, on child cognitive development, and on malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia, and immune function.
Muneera A Rasheed is a clinical psychologist by training with extensive experience in early childhood interventions. Her interest lies in studying how behaviour sciences can complement organizations for improved outcomes particularly through strengthening relationships. Her recent work has included leading systemic changes for sustainable integration of nurturing care interventions in a health unit. She has also represented her country at several technical meetings at WHO for nurturing care interventions.
James Cairns is Senior Director for Strategic Engagements and Organizational Learning. He leads Center-wide efforts focused on understanding the early childhood ecosystem and the Center’s role in it, including developing strategic collaborations and partnerships and leading efforts to understand and measure the impact of our work. He also continues to provide strategic guidance to the Center’s international portfolio and partnerships. Prior to joining the Center, Jim served as the Director of Programs at the World Conference of Religions for Peace, and as Director of the Advocacy and Action for Children Program. He holds master’s degrees in international relations and theology from Yale University and a bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University.
Yvonne Da Breo
I bring over 35 years of working experience in education and social protection. Key positions held include Teacher at the secondary and tertiary levels; Social Worker with the Government of Grenada; Chief Social Development Officer for Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique; and Managing Director of Child Protection Authority for Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. I have gained a wealth of knowledge and insight over the years working with children, young adults, and families in areas such as child protection and safeguarding concerns and the impact of trauma on their lives. I believe that by understanding the functioning of the brain, parents, and practitioners of the helping profession, we will be better able to reach children by enhancing their overall functioning appropriate to their age. It is against this backdrop, along with my lifelong commitment to improving Child Protection Systems, I humbly accept membership to the Board of Directors of the Caribbean Center for Child Neurodevelopment.
Sr. Julie Marie Peters
Sr. Julie Marie Peters’ passion is to help foster the healthy and holistic development and well-being of children. She believes that investing in children is the best way to work positively toward societal development and achieve a better Grenada. The work of the CCCN makes this possible. She is excited to serve on the CCCN Board, commit herself to its mission, and broaden her perspective and have a positive impact on colleagues and those served by the Center. She is thankful for the privilege to serve.
- Kiereth Atariwala
- Rachel Austin
- Mira Cheng
- Sean Hanna
- Joel Landeau
- Macda Lucas
- Delma Mark
- Charcini Pandy
- Finbar Richard
- Jenna Smarzinski
- Feaven Tewfik
- Ndeira Viechweg
Mira Cheng is a visiting medical student from Stanford University doing pediatric infectious diseases research under the mentorship of Dr. Desiree LaBeaud. Her interests include pediatrics, epidemiology, bioethics, and global health. In summer 2022 she collaborated with researchers at WINDREF to study the neurodevelopmental sequelae of prenatal Zika virus exposure in children.
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