Our Team

Advisory Committee

We are grateful to be led by thought leaders and people passionate for this work.  

Professor Martin E.P. Seligman is the Director of the Penn Positive Psychology Center and Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology in the Penn Department of Psychology. He is also the Director of the Penn Master of Applied Positive Psychology program (MAPP). Seligman was President of the American Psychological Association in 1998, during which one of his presidential initiatives was the promotion of Positive Psychology as a field of scientific study. He is a leading authority in the fields of Positive Psychology, resilience, learned helplessness, depression, optimism, and pessimism. He is a recognized authority on interventions that prevent depression and build strength and well-being. He has written more than 350 scholarly publications and 30 books. 

Professor David L. Cooperrider is the Fairmount Minerals Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University and Faculty Director of the Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit. Cooperrider is the co-creator and creative thought leader of Appreciative Inquiry, serving as consultant and advisor to business organizations, as well as speaker and facilitator of large group, interactive conference events. The foundation of his work focuses on strengths-based leadership, innovation, positive organizational development, large scale whole systems change, sustainable design, and the application of Appreciative Inquiry. 

Charlotte Douglas is a former teacher, Arkansas legislator, and community organizer. Douglas served for 27 years as a science educator in Arkansas. She served 6 years as a State Representative for Arkansas from 2013-2019. She sat on the Education Committee, where she was instrumental in introducing Social-Emotional Learning and Positive Education to Arkansas schools. Douglas has volunteered with the Rockefeller Institute on a Civility Curriculum and a Criminal Justice Reform Initiative. Charlotte and her husband Dr. Rick Douglas, live on a farm in Alma, Arkansas. They have 3 children and 16 grandkids.

Rosina Dorelli is the co-Founder and Director of Da Vinci Life-Skills, an organisation based in Cambridge, UK, that is building a new Biophilic vision for the future of education. It is creating the opportunity for research and development, as well as teacher training and project delivery, in transdisciplinary, contextual, project-based learning and formative assessment. Rosina has dedicated her life to making education more creative, inclusive, ethical and sustainable. She supports learners to find and nurture their unique talents and potential, so they can develop as engaged and empowered global citizens.

Eleanora Gatti's life vision and heartfelt hope are for every single individual in the world to be inspired and live a fulfilled life. Gatti works for UNICEF's Office of Innovation with a focus on scaling transformational water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH), and climate solutions for children.  She manages a portfolio of multi-country and multi-regional solutions. She is currently focusing on the establishment of the new UNICEF Sustainable WASH Innovation Hub in Denmark. Gatti has a Bachelor of Arts in International Law from Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and a Master of Science in Environmental Technologies from Imperial College London.

Craig Green began acting in junior high school to get people to listen to what he had to say. While in college and grad school, he began to write – having a one-act play produced in New York and Los Angeles, and a reading of the full-length play,  Steps, in New York.  Later, he worked with a production company in Los Angeles and wrote scripts as he tried to break into writing for film and television. Years later, after moving to Minnesota, he went to law school. Today, he is a  prosecutor in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Craig continues writing with a short story The Night Before, published in Blues Vision: African American Writing From Minnesota, and is working on a collection of short stories, Pop

Benjamin Kutsyuruba, PhD, is a Professor of Educational Policy, Leadership, and School Law at Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada. Throughout his career, Benjamin has worked as a teacher, researcher, manager, and professor in the field of education in Ukraine and Canada. His research areas include educational leadership and policy, flourishing and well-being, mentoring and teacher induction, and trust, moral agency, and ethical decision-making in education.

Emiliya Zhivotovskaya is the CEO and founder of The Flourishing Center, a New York City based Benefit Corporation (B-Corp) dedicated to increasing the flourishing of individuals, organizations, and communities worldwide. She is the creator of the acclaimed Certification in Applied Positive Psychology (CAPP) program and co-founder of the Positive Educator Certification (PEC) Program. Emiliya holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Positive Psychology and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Mind-Body Medicine from Saybrook University. Emiliya holds an MCC credential with the International Coaching Federation (ICF).

Executive Committee

With 65+ years of experience in education and nonprofit management, our Executive Committee is made up of seasoned experts in the field.

Laura Garrison-Brook, Chair/CEO

Laura Garrison-Brook is founder of the charitable organization Discovering My Purpose

Discovering My Purpose serves at-risk youth and college students by providing them a positive psychology program focused on self-discovery, resilience, mindfulness and strength.  This purpose-focused program rests on the work of thought leaders from Harvard, NYU, Penn, Stanford, UCLA and beyond. In its sixth year, the program has proven to be impactful by boosting student purpose and resilience while lessening anxiety.

Laura holds the Certificate in Positive Psychology and is a current student of Penn's Master of Applied Positive Psychology. 

Anita Andersen, Treasurer

Anita Andersen is a life coach and counselor/educator with a career serving adults and children in a variety of capacities. Anita has championed positive education and positive psychology practices in the school setting by providing professional development to faculty, collaborating on lessons across subject areas, and designing frameworks of implementation for whole school models.

Having had the privilege of working with children for 30 years, Anita finds great joy in witnessing their growth and development, especially as they practice applying the skills acquired through learning positive psychology.

 

Anita obtained her Positive Education Certification in August 2020. This most recent training has allowed her to work with faculty and students to facilitate meaningful conversations in regard to the value of practices that inform wellbeing.

Sandy Brower, Secretary

Sandy is a graduate of The Flourishing Center’s Certification in Applied Positive Psychology. She is a trainer for the Positive Education Certification Program provided through the Center for Positive Education.

She facilitates Flourishing & Resiliency skills workshops for adolescents and adults. Previously affiliated with The Academy for Character Education in Troy, NY, she enjoyed coordinating Youth Leadership Summits and Champion of Character Banquets to promote and support character education in area schools.

Sandy has a passion for sharing evidence-based strategies to develop effective coping mechanisms for managing life’s challenges and to help promote human flourishing and wellbeing.

Board of Directors

Teachers, coaches, psychologists, support staff, program creators and beyond, our Board of Directors is made up of a broad spectrum of experts from across the field.

Kimberli Breen, MS, CAS, MA

Kimberli Breen, MS, CAS, MA is a National Behavior Change Agent affiliated with Affecting Behavior Change Inc. and KOI Education. She supports family, school, district, county, and state teams in the Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) framework with a focus on integrating all initiatives including Positive Psychology, Positive Behavior Supports (PBIS), and family partnerships.

 

Kimberli is grateful for the quality of life she and her family experience by using Positive Psychology at home in Chicago. This strengths-based potential-building perspective has transformed the life of her teenage son who has autism.

Mary Kiley, MTS

Mary Kiley has  currently offers  professional development in Positive Psychology, Meditation and Appreciative Inquiry as Wellness Curriculum Specialist and faculty member at St. John's Preparatory School in Danvers, MA and Idioma Education and Consulting.

Along with an MTS, Mary has a certificate in Positive Psychology (Wholebeing Institute) and was certified as an  Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner (Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry/Champlain College). Her research, “The Four ‘I’s of Online Appreciative Teaching: Invite, Imagine, Integrate, Inspire” was published in the May ‘21 issue of the International Journal of Appreciative Inquiry.

Tamara Lechner

Tamara’s commitment to improving proactive wellbeing on a global scale and has led to her involvement with world leaders in contextual wellbeing measurement, Positive Psychology and Positive Education. In 2019 she was appointed the inaugural Director of The Center for Positive Education after spending 18 months with the Geelong Grammar School team from Australia.

She has been a staff writer and happiness expert for Deepak Chopra’s Chopra Center for many years. In her book The Happiness Reset- What to do When Nothing Makes You Happy she has coupled Positive Psychology interventions with days of the week to give structure answering the question “How can I be happier?”. Tamara has a passion for mindfulness, the science of habit formation and disrupting thought patterns to promote growth.

When Tamara is not speaking, writing or learning she can be found fuelling her zest by throwing epic parties, spending time with her husband and four children, and planning travel. Her deep belief if that happiness happens by choice, not chance.

Roy Leighton


Roy is the Director of Undiscovered Country and a senior associate at Independent Thinking. He works with schools, universities, businesses, and communities in the U.K. and internationally to develop cultures of 'positive peace' using the power of story and play to support engagement, transcend conflict and improve outcomes. 


He has extensive experience of using Positive Psychology and theatre practices with schools, businesses and communities internationally to move from conflict to 'positive peace'.  He is currently developing or delivering peace education programmes with international schools and universities in the U.K., America, Japan, India, Hungry, Argentia, Columbia and Kazakhstan.

He is the author of eight books on education, creativity, spirituality and change management. In 1991 he was awarded the Min-on Peace Award for his contribution to peace, culture and education.



His LinkedIn profile can be accessed here: 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/roy-leighton-mphil-cantab-frsa-6b0254/


Mia Pumo

Mia Pumo is co-founder of Constructive Learning Design, an organization that trains and supports instructional coaches and designs powerful learning experiences for students and teachers. 

She is passionate about creating positive environments for students and teachers and designs professional development for educators based on positive psychology research.  Mia is also a certified life coach and published her first book in 2017, What Are You Craving? A Step-by-Step Guide to Designing the Life You Were Meant to Live. 

Mia and her husband have a blended family of 4 children and their dog, Emmy.  She resides in Salem, VA. 

Carol Pelletier Radford, EdD

Carol Pelletier Radford is the founder of Mentoring in Action, an organization dedicated to supporting beginning teachers and their mentors. She is an experienced teacher, university administrator, published author, and certified yoga instructor. Carol earned her doctorate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she focused her studies on mentoring and teacher leadership. Her new book, coming in early 2023, When I Started Teaching, I Wish I Had Known…Weekly Wisdom for Beginning Teachers  includes the voices of experienced teachers sharing their best practices.

 

Radford is passionate about supporting the well-being of teachers and schools. Her web site contains free resources and other offerings to support educators. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. 


Michele Robison, PhD

Dr. Michele Robison is an evidenced-based Psychologist using the science of Positive Psychology, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Neuroscience to help her clients flourish. She is on a mission to decrease the startling statistics regarding depression, anxiety, and suicide among youth by taking the science of well-being and integrating it into practical application.

Dr. Robison has had the honor of being a keynote speaker at youth conferences, workshops and seminars in the USA and internationally. She also conducts trainings in schools on how to integrate the science of well-being in schools as a way to promote social emotional learning, positive mental health and minimize mental illness among students. She is the author of a workbook called "PERMA+ HR2  A Model of Well-Being. Integrating the Science of Well-Being Into Existing School Curriculum."

Marjorie Schiller, PhD

Marge Schiller, PhD, started her career in government and politics.  She moved to the private sector to lead a management consulting company. She was a very early adopter as Appreciative Inquiry emerged as a field of practice and study. 

Now in her 80’s, her energies are devoted to the co-construction of intergenerational learning and writes and consults, with a specific focus on schools and youth as agents of community and world benefit. Marge has co-authored an Appreciative Inquiry children’s book, Stan and the Four Fantastic Powers, with her grandchildren and Shira Recher Levy, a school psychologist.

She has taught at the School of Education  University of Massachusetts-Amherst, The Kennedy Institute, Harvard University, and Duquesne University’s executive education program. 

Bill Vining

Bill Vining is the founder of HeartBridge Collective, an organization with the mission of increasing flourishing in students and teachers. We engage in Regenerative Education, built on bringing health to the entire school. We specialize in social-emotional intelligence and positive thinking in children and youth.

HeartBridge has developed Professional Learning Exercises for teachers aimed at building growth mindset, mindfulness, compassion, and gratitude. HeartBridge also provides curriculum, training, consulting, and professional development for teachers, staff, and administrators.

Bill lives in Hot Springs, Arkansas with his wife, Marsha. He has three adult children, Kristen, Matt, and Mark.

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