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Child and Family Well-Being Champions

Safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments are essential to supporting child and family well-being. Our work supports policies, programs, and systems designs that prevent exposure to child abuse, neglect, and other adverse childhood experiences. We cocreate solutions with families, communities, and their partners to promote the conditions children need to thrive: economic security, housing stability, access to quality early childhood care and education, healthcare, and other community supports and resources.

As an organization committed to bold thinking to improve the quality of people’s lives, Abt uses innovative approaches to support evidence building for child welfare programs and services that aid in mitigating the conditions that drive children and families deeper into human services systems. Our thought leadership, research, and technical assistance aims to enhance individual and community well-being through co-designing data-driven solutions with those who have lived experience. We also collaborate with key decision makers at the local, state, and national levels to support the application of our work and promote equity in the health and well-being of all children and families.

Meet the people who can help your organization achieve your goals:


Samantha Calero, MPH
Associate – Social & Economic Policy

Samantha Isabel Calero has 14 years of experience advancing healing-centered, culturally responsive systems of care for youth and families. At Abt, she works across the U.S. and in Puerto Rico on youth houselessness projects. She serves as the equity task lead for the Prevention Services Clearinghouse and the expert collaboration task lead for the Replication of Recovery and Reunification Interventions for Families Feasibility Study. She also is the lead for the Technical Assistance and Implementation Capability Center’s cross-cutting solution development for lived experience and community engagement. Previously Samantha served as the deputy project manager for Massachusetts’s Quality Improvement Center on Domestic Violence in Child Welfare. She also was executive director for the Youth Advocacy Foundation, a legal aid partnership with the Massachusetts juvenile public defenders and was a cofounder of the Violence Prevention and Recovery Programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

AshLee Smith, Ph.D,
Senior Research Analyst – Social & Economic Policy

Dr. AshLee Smith works on improving the lives of marginalized people by working on economic mobility, criminal justice, child welfare, and housing. Her expertise is in mixed-method and equitable evaluations and qualitative evaluation research methods, including participatory methods. She also has experience with ethnography, interviews, and focus groups with diverse populations, including community organizations, public servants, and hard-to-reach individuals and families. AshLee currently serves as a senior site lead for Mayors of Guaranteed Income (G.I.) Pilot Evaluations. She ensures rigor and comparability of data across sites and advances the overall body of evidence from G.I. pilots across the country. At the University of Minnesota before she came to Abt, AshLee studied the interplay of social inequities, systems change, and child and family well-being. As a first-generation college student, mixed-raced woman, and former foster child, her life experiences have shaped her goals: to improve the lives and well-being of the marginalized.

Lori Hunter, MS
Principal Associate – Digital Delivery

Lori Hunter has more than 20 years of experience in systems analysis, functional requirements analysis, data analysis, database administration and design, web design, and development. Her projects represent a range of complexities, including usability experience, websites, person-centered design, data systems analysis and visualization, technical assistance tracking, evaluation data collection, and communities of practice. In addition to project management, Lori has more than 17 years of experience working on the Child Welfare Information Gateway and other clearinghouses. Her background includes several training and technical assistance efforts, including multiple Children’s Bureau projects such as the Capacity Building Center for States, National Youth in Transition Database, and Cross-Site Evaluations. She has expertise in all aspects of database design, functional requirements analysis, business process integration, and website production, including database-backed web pages.

Adele Robinson, J.D.
Principal Associate

Adele Robinson is a nationally recognized policy advisor on complex legislation, including the Child Care and Development Block Grant, Head Start, Higher Education, Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Child Nutrition, and other initiatives. At the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, she helped write the 2016 regulations for the Child Care and Development Fund and a policy statement on early childhood career pathways. In addition to federal advocacy, she has assisted states and local stakeholders with implementation and strategic advising. She led the public policy work at the National Association for the Education of Young Children for 15 years and prior to that she worked in public policy at the National Education Association, National Association of State Boards of Education, and the U.S. Senate. 

See some of Adele’s work:

  1. Funding Our Future: Generating State and Local Tax Revenue for Quality Early Care & Education

Suzanne Gibbons, MA
Senior Associate

Suzanne Gibbons has 20 years of experience improving outcomes for children and families through early education and care. She has led professional development efforts to strengthen the workforce, designed an early literacy coaching program for Pre-K teachers, and managed strategic initiatives to align programs and services for children from birth through third grade. Suzanne managed a team at the Region 1 Office of Head Start, facilitating data-informed decisions and responsive solutions for daily operations. She also oversaw high-priority initiatives focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition to her roles in government, nonprofit, and research organizations, she has served as a board member of the Massachusetts chapter of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and other local and regional early education advisory councils. At Abt, Suzanne contributes to projects ranging from impact evaluation studies to state policy strategic consulting.

Ann Loeffler, MSPH
Principal Associate – Health and Environment

Ann Loeffler has two decades of experience working with healthcare safety net service delivery providers in the U.S. Trained in epidemiology and biomedical policy, she brings a program perspective, an implementation-science lens, and a focus on data analytics to her work. Over the past 10 years, Ann has served as a project lead for more than 10 federal projects involving program implementation and evaluation. She has worked with health center leaders in frontier, rural, and urban areas on strategic planning, market assessments, and growth strategies.

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We do more than solve the challenges our clients have today. We collaborate to solve the challenges of tomorrow.