Our Team

Leadership

Lina Guzman, Ph.D.

View Bio

Michael L. López, Ph.D.

View Bio

Elizabeth Wildsmith, Ph.D.

View Bio

Lina Guzman, Ph.D. is Principal Investigator (PI) of the Center. As an applied social demographer, Dr. Guzman’s research has examined childbearing, union formation, parenting and program use among racial/ethnic minorities. Her work with the Center has examined the diverse family and economic experiences of Hispanics and their implications for programs and policies as well as strengthening our nation’s data infrastructure to better understand the heterogeneity within the Latino communities. Dr. Guzman is the director of the Child Trends Hispanic Institute and managing director of business development and strategy at Child Trends. Learn more about Dr. Guzman and her research. Contact Dr. Guzman. Twitter: @linapguzman

Michael L. López, Ph.D. is co-Principal investigator of the Center. He is a national expert with 30 years of experience conducting applied early childhood research, with an emphasis on low-income and culturally and linguistically diverse populations. His work with the Center focuses on Building Research Capacity activities and studies examining racial/ethnic differences in Hispanic utilization of early care and education. Dr. López is a Vice President in the Education and Child Development department at NORC at the University of Chicago. Learn more about Dr. López and his research. Contact Dr. LópezConnect with Dr. López on LinkedIn. Twitter: @MichaelLopezPhD

Elizabeth Wildsmith, Ph.D. is the Center’s Deputy Director and co-leads its Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood research area. Dr. Wildsmith’s research has examined fertility, relationships and marriage, the transition to adulthood, Hispanic families, and reproductive health. She has a complementary interest in disparities by socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity and is committed to addressing questions that will support stakeholders in efforts to promote the healthy development of children in low-income and vulnerable families. Her research with the Center focuses on better understanding the family formation and family functioning of Latino families in ways that will support efforts aimed to promote the healthy development of children and families. Learn more about Dr. Wildsmith and her research. Contact Dr. Wildsmith. Twitter: @LizyWild

Co-investigators

Danielle A. Crosby, Ph.D.

View Bio

Natasha Cabrera, Ph.D.

View Bio

Julia Mendez, Ph.D.

View Bio

Lisa A. Gennetian, Ph.D.

View Bio

Danielle A. Crosby, Ph.D. is a co-investigator of the Center and co-leads the Early Care and Education area. Dr. Crosby’s research seeks to identify the social, economic, and policy factors that promote optimal development for children in low-income, ethnic minority, and immigrant families. She has investigated how welfare, income, employment policies, parents’ work conditions, and ECE supply characteristics shape children’s access to high-quality early care and education experiences. Her research with the Center focuses on the policy, community, and household factors that shape ECE access and utilization for low-income Hispanic families. Dr. Crosby is an Associate Professor in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Learn more about Dr. Crosby and her researchContact Dr. Crosby.

Natasha Cabrera, Ph.D. is a co-investigator of the Center and co-leads the Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood area. Dr. Cabrera’s extensively published research focuses on the role of fathers and mothers in Latino families and the links between parenting behaviors and children’s social and cognitive development. She also has conducted research on Latino fathers including the theoretical aspects of fatherhood research, methodology, the nature and frequency of father involvement, and the relationship between fathers’ activities and children’s outcomes. Dr. Cabrera’s research with the Center includes studies of the early environments of Latinx children as they relate to children's development and the types of early mothering and fathering behaviors in low-income families that promote children's wellbeing. Dr. Cabrera is a Professor of Human Development at the University of Maryland, College Park. Learn more about Dr. Cabrera and her researchContact Dr. Cabrera. Twitter: @natashajcabrera

Julia Mendez, Ph.D. is a co-investigator of the Center and co-leads the Early Care and Education area. As a community psychologist and a licensed clinical psychologist, she has expertise in understanding the mental health and well-being of young children as well as on parent engagement in preschool and elementary school settings. Her research with the Center focuses on early care and education opportunities for Hispanics in the U.S., including how ECE programs and child care policies support child development and learning opportunities in the family, school and community settings. Dr. Mendez is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Chancellor’s Fellow for Campus Climate at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Learn more about Dr. Mendez and her research. Contact Dr. Mendez. Twitter: @DrJMSmith25

Lisa A. Gennetian, Ph.D. is a co-investigator of the Center and leads the Poverty Reduction and Self-Sufficiency area. Her current research focuses on the impact of income instability on the lives of poor families and their children, and implications of these findings for the design of social assistance programs. Dr. Gennetian’s research with the Center encompasses investigations of racial/ethnic differences in the economic behavior of parents and implications on the well-being of their children. She is a Visiting Associate Professor Duke Sanford School of Public Policy. Learn more about Dr. Gennetian and her researchContact Dr. Gennetian. Twitter: @Gen_Pov

Technical Work Group

Experts from a wide range of disciplines serve on the Center’s Technical Working Group (TWG). This group is comprised of thought leaders with diverse expertise in research, programs, and policy across the Center’s three focus areas.

Current TWG Members

Juan Pedroza, Ph.D.

University of California, Santa Cruz

Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, Ph.D.

Brandeis University

Colleen Vesely, Ph.D.

George Mason University

Daniel Lichter, Ph.D.

Cornell University

Allison Hyra, Ph.D.

Abt Associates

Rashmita Mistry, Ph.D.

University of California, Los Angeles

Marianne Bitler, Ph.D.

University of California, Irvine

Randy Capps, Ph.D.

Migration Policy Institute

Robert Crosnoe, Ph.D.

University of Texas at Austin

Jay Fagan, Ph.D.

Temple University

Julia Henly, Ph.D.

University of Chicago

Krista Perreira, Ph.D.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill