Leadership

Theodore Kamoutsis

Executive Director, Promise Project

Ted Kamoutsis has been Executive Director of PROMISE PROJECT since its inception in 2010.  Ted was instrumental in helping the Board create PROMISE as an independent non profit organization that seeks to ensure that all children with learning disabilities get the chance to succeed.   

Ted Kamoutsis has been Executive Director of PROMISE PROJECT since its inception in 2010.  Ted was instrumental in helping the Board create PROMISE as an independent non profit organization that seeks to ensure that all children with learning disabilities get the chance to succeed.   As executive director he collaborated in the design and implementation of PROMISE Program atColumbia to make it the most comprehensive program helping disadvantaged children with learning disabilities get the evaluations, recommendations and advocacy they need.  Ted develops strategic plans and maps out steps to realize objectives.   He initiates key partnerships with essential advocacy groups and is working with the DOE on implementing a pilot program in the public schools to create more effective IEP's and better understanding among schools staff of the issues of learning disabilities. Ted leads the Board of Directors on recruitment and development and guides all marketing and fundraising initiatives.

        Previously Ted was a volunteer consultant to the Advisory Board of the Center for Attention and Learning at Lenox Hill Hospital.  For many years, Ted was Vice-President of the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls club of the Bellport Area and helped transform a small "grass roots" entity into a strong non-profit organization.  Ted spent the first part of his career as an executive in the apparel industry.  Wanting an outlet for his passion for helping disadvantaged children reach their potential, he returned to school at the NYU's School of Philanthropy.  He grew up in Detroit in a first generation immigrant family.  Ted received his BBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Dana Buchman

Chair, Promise Project

Since leaving the designer world, Dana Buchman has dedicated her life to a helping underserved children with learning disabilities. 

For more than two decades Dana Buchman pioneered the way successful women looked and dressed.  Her eponymous fashion collections offered style, luxury, and exceptional quality to a broad range of women managing professions, businesses and families acrossAmerica.

In the midst of creating her fashion domain, Dana became fervently involved with her daughter Charlotte's struggle with Learning Disabilities.  In 2006 Dana wrote a book called A Special Education about the challenges in understanding and managing her daughter's special needs.

Dana resolved to become a champion for children with Learning Disabilities who don't have access to the resources that her daughter had. She joined the Advisory Board of the Center for Attention and Learning at Lenox Hill Hospital.

In an effort to reach many more children and have a widespread influence on Learning Disabilities, Dana founded PROMISE PROJECT, with the goal that one day all children with Learning Disabilities get the chance to learn.  PROMISE PROJECT joined forces with Columbia University Medical Center, in affiliation with New York-Presbyterian Hospital, to create the most comprehensive program in New York City to help impoverished children with learning disabilities. PROMISE at Columbia is committed to providing an educational path for underserved children struggling with Learning Disabilities.

Dana envisions PROMISE one day becoming the preeminent center on Learning Disabilities in the nation, with the mission of transforming how Learning Disabilities are treated in the future.

Dana serves on the Columbia University Medical Center Board of Visitor and the  Boards of the Fund for the City ofNew Yorkand the Liz Claiborne Foundation, and is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.  She has received accolades for her passionate service fromNationalCenterfor Learning Disabilities, Lenox Hill Auxiliary, Advocates for Children, and Columbia Presbyterian Health Sciences Advisory Council.

Michele Shackelford, PhD

Program Specialist, Promise Project Board of Directors

Dr. Michele Shackelford has devoted her career to evaluating children with learning disabilities. Dr. Shackelford graduated from the City University of New York with a PhD. in Clinical Psychology. She received a Certificate in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis from NYU.

Dr. Shackelford graduated from the City University of New York with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. She received a Certificate in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis from New York University.

After interning at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, she was Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology at Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. During that time, she evaluated both children and adults with developmental and acquired neurological disorders and also created a clinic for children with learning disabilities and trained psychologists in evaluating children.

Dr. Shackelford began a full time private practice in Greenwich Village focusing on the evaluation and therapeutic treatment of children with learning and developmental disorders. .

Dr. Shackelford was the Director of the Center for Attention & Learning Disorders at Lenox Hill Hospital, training  postdoctoral fellows and child psychiatry residents in neuropsychological evaluations and developmental disorders.

Currently Dr. Shackelford has a private practice in New York City and Scarsdale, New York. 

Jeffrey Lieberman, MD

Chairman of Psychiatry, CUMC

Dr. Jeffrey A. Lieberman, President, American Psychiatric Association, has spent his career of over 25 years caring for patients and studying the nature and treatment of mental illness. Dr. Lieberman is committed to the research and understanding of learning disabilities at Columbia University.

Jeffrey A. Lieberman, M.D., is the Lawrence C. Kolb Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He also holds the Lieber Chair for Schizophrenia Research in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia and serves as Psychiatrist in Chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital - Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Lieberman is chair of the American Psychiatric Association (APA).  

Dr. Lieberman has spent his career caring for patients and studying the nature and treatment of mental illness. His work has been reported in more than 450 articles in the scientific literature and he has edited or co-edited 12 books, including the textbook Psychiatry, currently in its third edition; Textbook of Schizophrenia, Comprehensive Care of Schizophrenia; Psychiatric Drugs; and Ethics in Psychiatric Research: A Resource Manual on Human Subjects Protection. He also has served, as Associate Editor of the American Journal of Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry, Neuropsychopharmacology, Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, Schizophrenia Research, Neuroimage, International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, and the Schizophrenia Bulletin.

Dr. Lieberman received his medical degree from the George Washington School of Medicine in 1975. Following his postgraduate training in psychiatry at St. Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center of New York Medical College, he was on the faculties of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Mount Sinai School of Medicine as well as Director of the Mental Health and Neuroscience Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

Jeremy Veenstra-Vanderweele, MD

Director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, CUMC

Dr. Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele is Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute.

Dr. Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele is Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute. He is a child and adolescent psychiatrist who uses molecular and translational neuroscience research tools in the pursuit of new treatments for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

As a predoctoral fellow, medical student, and resident, he trained in human molecular genetics in the laboratory of Edwin H. Cook at the University of Chicago. He expanded his research experience with a postdoctoral research fellowship in molecular neuroscience with Randy Blakely and Jim Sutcliffe at Vanderbilt University, with the goal to develop mouse models of social dysfunction and repetitive behavior.

Currently, his molecular lab focuses on the serotonin, oxytocin and glutamate systems in genetic mouse models related to ASD and OCD. While developing a molecular neuroscience research program, he also built a clinical/translational research program to study new treatments for ASD and Fragile X Syndrome. He moved both arms of his research program to Columbia University, the New York State Psychiatric Institute, and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Center for Autism and the Developing Brain in 2014 to continue to pursue novel treatments for children with these challenging conditions.

Laura Mufson, PhD

Associate Director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, CUMC

Dr. Laura Mufson is Associate Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute. 

Dr. Laura Mufson is Associate Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute. She is also an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University, a Research Scientist at New York State Psychiatric Institute, and Director of the Department of Clinical Psychology at New York State Psychiatric Institute.

In addition, she is Director of Clinical Child Psychology in Child Psychiatry and directs the training program in empirically supported treatments for children and adolescents in the Dept of Child Psychiatry. She is an expert on Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Adolescent Depression (IPT-A) and is the author of many publications on adolescent depression, temperament, psychopathology, and risk factors for psychopathology.

Dr. Mufson's primary interest is in the evaluation of empirically supported psychotherapy outcomes both in the efficacy and effectiveness arenas. She currently is studying the efficacy of IPT-A for depressed and suicidal adolescents and a model of stepped care for adolescent depression delivered in pediatric primary care clinics. She is a co-investigator and/or consultant on several grants studying adaptations of IPT-A in school-based clinics, adaptations of IPT-A for prevention of disorders and for prepubertal depression, testing other empirically supported therapies for children and adolescents, and the implementation and dissemination of empirically supported treatments into community settings. She is the recipient of the Gerald L. Klerman Young Investigator Award from the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance as well as both a NARSAD Young Investigator Award and NARSAD Independent Investigator Award.

 

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