International Infant & Toddler Conference 2019 Speaker Bios

Ross A. Thompson, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Davis, where he directs the Social and Emotional Development Lab. Thompson is an internationally-recognized authority on the psychological development of young children, parent-child relationships, and the applications of developmental science to public policy problems such as early childhood mental health, child poverty, early education, and the development of school readiness. His work integrates understanding of the developing brain with early experiences in both typical and at-risk children, and he consults extensively to legislative committees, public agencies, and private foundations. He has published five books, several best-selling textbooks, and over 250 papers related to his work.

Thompson is President of the Board of Directors of Zero to Three, a national nonprofit devoted to the healthy development of young children and their families. He is on the Executive Committee of the Center for Poverty Research at the University of California, serves on the boards of the National Institute for Early Education Research and the Buffett Early Childhood Institute, and was a founding member of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child.  He received the Ann Brown Award for Excellence in Developmental Research in 2007, the University of California, Davis Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award in 2011, and the Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society from the American Psychological Association in 2017.

Mimi Keren, MD, was born in Paris, France, immigrated to Israel in 1970, and graduated in medicine at the Ben Gourion Medical School (1975-1981). After her residency in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and certification of the School of Psychotherapy at the Tel Aviv University Sackler Medical School, Dr. Keren spent two years at Brown University (USA) for a fellowship in Infant Psychiatry (1993-1995). Since 1996, she has served as director of the community-based infant mental health unit, affiliated to Geha Mental Health Center in Petah-Tiqwa, which was the first Community Infant Psychiatry Unit. From 1996 to 2006, she supervised the Israeli national project of preschool mental health units implementation, under joint sponsorship of the Ministry of Health and Sacta-Rashi Foundation.

Dr. Keren has also served as the President of the World Association of Infant Mental Health (2012-2016) and is currently on the Board as Past President and Honorary President of the Israel WAIMH Affiliate. Her academic position is Assistant Clinical Professor at the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry department, Tel-Aviv Sackler Medical School, Head of the Infant Psychiatry Post Graduate course, Tel-Aviv Sackler Medical School, International Advisor on the Editorial board of the Infant Mental Health Journal and Member of the Diagnostic Classification for Early Childhood Revision International Task Force.  Dr. Keren teaches as a Visiting Professor at Valencia (Spain) University, International early childhood psychology program, sponsored by AEPEA. She is also involved in joint Israeli-Palestinian professional projects and has recently started to fill her position as Head of the Geha Child and Adolescent Section.

Allison Jackson, PhD, holds her PhD in Social Work and is a LCSW and CSOTP in Virginia as well as a Certified Facilitator for Dr. Brené Brown’s Daring Way™ curriculums (CDWF). Her passion is to bring trauma and resilience informed practices to professionals honored to serve at promise youth, families and adults in their communities. She lives this passion by providing educational opportunities directly to community members as well as to professionals at the direct care and leadership levels of an organization. She is a person of lived experience and a professional having provided services via Behavioral Health, Education, Child Welfare and Criminal Justice systems for over 20 years. For 13 years, she served within an international healthcare organization first as mentor and finally as their VP of Clinical Operations and National Trauma Informed Service Line Leader. Partnering with the National Council of Behavioral HealthCare, she co-led 17 National Teams through the Council’s Trauma Informed Learning Collaborative. 

Today, Dr. Jackson is the CEO of Integration Solutions, providing trauma and resilience informed care consultation to human service and healthcare organizations furthering their integration of resilience practices to consumers via TIC organizational culture principles.  She challenges herself to live an authentic life and step into “the arena” each day. Her hope is her work in collaboration with so many others will increase the empathy and self-compassion of those impacted by trauma and influence next generation health.

Jill Molli, MS Counseling, has the uncanny ability to help people laugh and learn at the same time. Her past position in a Title 1 elementary school offered her opportunities to apply Dr. Bailey’s Conscious Discipline® in a school setting and her own family offers her constant real-life experiences to share with her audiences. Jill was selected as a Loving Guidance Associate because of her no-nonsense ability to get to the heart of a situation and her commitment to living Loving Guidance principles at school and at home. She is an entertaining, motivating and heart-felt presenter.

Jill is a “connector” for family needs. She began her teaching career in a behavior disabilities classroom, moved into a regular third grade classroom, and then completed her requirements as a guidance counselor. In this role, Jill helped implement Conscious Discipline® school-wide using the 3-year implementation plan. She has a Master’s Degree in Counseling, a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and 20+ years of working with children with behavior problems. Since 2003, she has been the owner and operator of Connecting with Kids, a business whose mission is to build connections in families and classrooms. In an effort to stay current and up to date with recent issues in the classroom, Jill volunteers weekly in preschool and elementary settings and quarterly in an alternative high school.