Deborah Temkin, PhD, is a recognized leader in the fields of school climate, school safety, and school health. As the senior director of Child Trends’ education program area, Dr. Temkin works to identify the policies, programs, and practices that improve conditions for learning so all students can thrive. She is frequently called upon to provide her expertise, including through testimony to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee and through media interviews with The Washington Post, Politico, CNN, Education Week, U.S. News and World Report, USA Today, the 74 Million, and other publications.
Since joining Child Trends in 2014, Dr. Temkin’s work has focused on the intersections between education policy and healthy social and emotional development. As part of this work, Dr. Temkin co-leads the policy analysis and development arm of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Together for Healthy and Successful Schools Initiative, which aims to document and inform state policies across all components of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child framework developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The resulting analyses help inform the National Association of State Boards of Education’s State Policy Database on School Health.
Dr. Temkin has also led several large-scale, school-based evaluations including: a $3.8 million four-year evaluation of the Safe School Certification Program in DC public and public charter schools funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Comprehensive School Safety Initiative; a multi-year evaluation of school start time changes funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and a retrospective evaluation of the DC Healthy Schools Act under contract with the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education. With funding from the Arcus Foundation, Dr. Temkin also led a study to develop and validate measures of sexual orientation and gender identity for use with middle and high school students. She also serves as a senior advisor to Child Trends’ work on the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Safe Supportive Learning Environments, the Title IV Part-A Technical Assistance Center, and the CDC’s Leadership Exchange for Adolescent Health Promotion.
Prior to Child Trends, Dr. Temkin led the Federal Initiative on Bullying Prevention and was a finalist for the 2012 Call to Service Medal of the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals. She played a major role in creating stopbullying.gov and coordinated the 2011 White House Conference on Bullying, among other initiatives.
Dr. Temkin continues to consult with policymakers and other decision makers about bullying prevention policies and initiatives, including serving as an expert consultant to the DC Office of Human Rights on the implementation of the Youth Bullying Prevention Act of 2012. She is in search of ways to improve the conditions for learning in schools. She is looking for opportunities to study and improve youth engagement, student safety and support, and education policies relating to student health.