Our Board of Directors
James E. Craigen, Sr.
James E. Craigen, Sr. is an Associate Professor at Howard University School of Social Work and has been on the faculty for nearly four decades. He most recently served as Chair of the Macro Practice Sequence where he was responsible for teaching community organization, social policy, and human services management courses. His area of specialization is family and child welfare. He has been Chair of the Baltimore City Commission on Social Service since 1997 and is the former Co-Chair of the Health Families/Thriving Communities Coalition of Washington, DC. He also was a founding member of the District of Columbia Health and Human Services Coalition. Craigen holds memberships in several professional organizations including: the Council on Social Work Education, National Association of Black Social Workers, and the Association of Community Organizations and Social Administration (ACOSA). He is currently a member and has served on the Maryland Association of Social Services Board’s Executive Committee. Craigen has also written and successfully managed federal, state, and local grants over his tenure at Howard University School of Social Work, exceeding four million dollars. He has been the recipient of the Winning in Excellence Award in Teaching, the Alpha Phi Alpha Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Teaching, and has served as the Public Member of the Foreign Service Selection Board, Department of State. James Craigen received his B.A. degree in Sociology from Morris Brown College, and his M.S.W. degree from Atlanta University School of Social Work. He also did post-graduate study and served on the faculty at the University of Chicago.
Dr. Sheryl Brissett Chapman
Dr. Sheryl Brissett Chapman has served as Executive Director of the National Center for Children and Families (NCCF) since 1991. NCCF is a private nonprofit agency committed to serving vulnerable children, youth, and families. Under Dr. Chapman’s leadership, the organization has grown from a facility housing 60 children to a comprehensive regional center annually serving more than 4,000 children, families, survivors of domestic violence, and abused and neglected children and adolescents. A leading expert in child and family welfare, Dr. Chapman joined NCCF after serving as Associate Director, Clinical Services, Research, and Administration, Division of Child Protection, Children’s National Medical Center and as Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, DC. Dr. Chapman publishes and presents nationally on a wide range of topics including juvenile justice, systems reform in child and family welfare, poverty and homelessness, childhood trauma, domestic violence, cultural competency, and ethics. Dr. Chapman received her B.A. degree at Brown University, where she now serves as Trustee Emerita. She obtained her M.S.W. degree from the University of Connecticut. She later completed a second Master’s degree and Doctorate in Education, Administration, Planning, and Social Policy at Harvard University.
Matthew Cohen is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Social Justice Solutions, a web-based forum to promote the exploration of social welfare policy, social work practice and politics in general. Together with several graduates of Stony Brook University, they created the forum to unify social workers and other helping professionals to create the foundation needed to promote helpers for public office. Using the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics as their guiding principle, Social Justice Solutions works to keep the helping professions informed and connected to the needs of the public. Matthew Cohen earned a B.A. from the University at Albany with a double Major in Philosophy and Computer Science and later earned his MSW from Stony Brook University. He is committed to helping the social work profession escape the grasp of policy makers who do not have social work as a primary interest.
Dr. Eileen Dombo
Dr. Eileen Dombo is an Assistant Professor at the Catholic University of America’s National Catholic School of Social Service. Additionally, she is a psychotherapist and consultant in private practice in Washington, DC, and was listed as a “Top Therapist” by Washingtonian Magazine. For ten years she was as a clinical social worker at the DC Rape Crisis Center providing therapy to survivors of sexual violence and others impacted by sexual abuse. She worked with individuals, couples, families, and groups and advanced to become the Clinical Director. Dr. Dombo brought an understanding of working with older adults and persons with disabilities from her previous work at IONA Senior Services and the DC Office on Aging. Her research interests include testing models of practice, program evaluation, and addressing vicarious trauma and preventing burnout in social workers and other human service professionals. Dr. Dombo’s most recent community leadership roles include serving on the DC Board of Social Work and the Archdiocese of Washington’s Child Protection Advisory Board. Dr. Dombo received her Ph.D. in Social Work and her Master of Social Work degree from the National Catholic School of Social Services at The National Catholic University of America.
Janie L. Jeffers
Janie L. Jeffers is founder and president of Jeffers and Associates, LLC, a strategic management consulting firm providing services to Harvard University, the U.S. Justice Department, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and various criminal justice organizations. President Bill Clinton appointed her a Commissioner on the United States Parole Commission in 1999. She has had a distinguished career in public policy, education, management, health care, and criminal justice at the federal and local levels. Ms. Jeffers served as Executive Deputy Director for the Federal DC Interagency Task Force at the White House Office of Management and Budget, where she coordinated technical assistance to the District of Columbia government on economic development, education, childcare, and public/private partnerships. She also served as Policy Advisor for the President’s Crime Prevention Council, chaired by Vice President Gore. From 1992-1996, she was Chief of the National Office of Citizen Participation for the Federal Bureau of Prisons at the Department of Justice and, from 1985-1991, she was Deputy Commissioner for the New York City Department of Correction, rising through the ranks to become the first civilian to achieve that position. She managed city-wide delivery of health care, education, and legal services for over 20,000 inmates with a $50 million budget. Ms. Jeffers was a consultant to the World Health Organization in Geneva on AIDS management in penal institutions in Europe and Africa. She was an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at her alma mater – Howard University School of Social Work where she received her M.S.W. degree. She has been a field instructor at the Columbia University School of Social Work, an adjunct professor at Baruch College in New York City and instructor at the National Academy of Corrections in Colorado.
Anna Forbes Towns, Esq.
Attorney Anna Forbes Towns is in private practice at the firm established as Anna Forbes Towns and Associates. The firm specializes in the practice of administrative law primarily representing clients in cases involving social security appeals and the appeal of veterans’ benefits claims. Towns is committed to advocacy, training, outreach and representation of undeserved constituencies. Throughout her career, Towns has skillfully combined training and experience in the fields of social work, education and law to serve as an effective advocate for at risk children, families, veterans and other under-served constituencies. She has been recognized for her expertise and work in the development of model programs and work products geared toward enhancing the quality of life for those residing in low and moderate income communities. A highlight of her career was serving as an appointee in the Administration of President Bill Clinton. During this appointment at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Towns played a key role in the successful launching of HUD’s Faith-Based and Community Outreach Initiative. Anna enjoys membership and affiliation with numerous organizations including: the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and the Academy of Certified Social Workers. Towns earned her B.A. degree in Sociology from Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD; the M.S.W. degree from Adelphi University in Garden City, NY; and the J.D. degree from Howard University School of Law. She is the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from the Virginia University of Lynchburg located in Lynchburg, Virginia.