Phyllis Brunson

Phyllis R. Brunson

Director, Southern California Initiatives


I lead CSSP’s Southern California initiatives, all of which target community building, family economic success, early care and literacy, and school readiness. I work as a senior coach to communities, agencies, and institutions that are willing to invest in building strong communities to support families and their children with generously constructed networks of local assets that work together and apart to collectively improve results for young children and their families.

I do this work because

It is intended to help families, residents, and communities to connect to opportunities and make decisions, changes, and improvements that positively impact their lives.

I am most proud of

My work on the International Youth Decision Making and Study Tour and Seminar—leading a delegation of youth and policymakers from Chile, Ireland, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom into dialogues about how youth voices and autonomy may help policymakers achieve the results they desire for young adults.

Work History

  • Deputy Director and Acting Director, System’s Reform Initiative, Maryland Governor’s Office for Children, Youth, and Families.
  • Chief, Health Planning, District of Columbia’s Health Planning Agency
  • Senior Specialist, Systems Reform Unit, New York State Office of Mental Health

Education and Awards

  • M.A. in Psychology, Washington University
  • B.A. in Psychology, Lincoln University

When the day is done

I begin and end my day with news from several outlets. I love doting on my great nieces and nephews, listening to jazz, and meditating.