Shadi Houshyar portrait.

Shadi Houshyar

Senior Associate

She, Her, Hers

View Shadi’s condensed bio here.


I advance our policy work—focusing on equity-driven policies to support young children and families and with a primary focus on child health, childhood trauma, toxic stress, and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

I do this work because

I believe that children and families are incredibly resilient. If we commit to understanding the root causes of early adversity, toxic stress, and trauma, and to developing strategies that can support children and families who experience compounding stressors, we can improve systems and change community conditions so that all children and families can thrive.

I am most proud of

Taking the leap away from academia after graduate school and doing a congressional fellowship in the Senate. It was a deep dive into what policy making looks like and helped me bridge my interests and research on resiliency and trauma with what it takes to advance policies that can support children and families.

Work History

  • Director of Early Childhood and Child Welfare Initiatives, Families USA
  • Senior Associate and Project Director, CSSP
  • Vice President for Child Welfare Policy and Director of the State Policy Advocacy and Reform Center, First Focus

Education and Awards

  • Ph.D., Yale University
  • M.S., Yale University
  • B.A., Kalamazoo College

When the day is done

I enjoy spending time with my three kids and husband, often walking to various playgrounds in Takoma Park (in Washington, DC), exploring new coffee shops and restaurants, or at the farmer’s market.