The Future of Children

Promoting Child HealthFuture of Children logo
A collaboration of Princeton University, the Brookings Institution, and Children’s of Alabama

Thursday, July 9, 2015
1:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.
Children’s of Alabama | Bradley Lecture Center

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478 16th St South
Birmingham, AL 35233
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The Future of Children is a partnership of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and the Brookings Institution. The project publishes two journals and policy briefs each year. Topics range widely – from income policy to family issues to education and health – with children’s policy as the unifying element.

For the first time in Birmingham, a portion of the Spring 2015 journal will be presented to health professionals from across the state at Children’s of Alabama.


Nancy Reichman, PhDNancy Reichman, PhD is Professor of Pediatrics at Rutgers University’s Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She is an economist with a broad portfolio of research focusing on linkages between socioeconomic status and health, including studies of socioeconomic determinants of infant and child health, effects of child disability on families, and effects of public policies and other contexts on child and family well-being. Her most recent and ongoing work focuses on effects of gestational age on children’s health and developmental trajectories, health across the lifecourse in an international comparative context, immigrant maternal and child health, health and socioeconomic status across generations, effects of work incentives under welfare reform on adolescent health and social behaviors, and effects of maternal depression on material hardship in families with young children. Her research has been funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research Program on Childhood Hunger; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation and Administration for Children and Families, the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is Deputy Editor of the journal Demography, the flagship journal of the Population Association of America.

Ziliak_James_small.jpgJames P. Ziliak holds the Carol Martin Gatton Endowed Chair in Microeconomics in the Department of Economics and is Founding Director of the Center for Poverty Research at the University of Kentucky. He served as assistant and associate professor of economics at the University of Oregon, and has held visiting positions at the Brookings Institution, University College London, University of Michigan, and University of Wisconsin. He currently serves as chair of the Board of Overseers of the University of Michigan’s Panel Study of Income Dynamics. His research expertise is in the areas of labor economics, poverty, food insecurity, and tax and transfer policy. Recent projects include trends in earnings and income volatility in the U.S.; the origins of persistently poor regions in America; the causes and consequences of hunger among Americans; and the effect of survey nonresponse on the level and trends in poverty and inequality. He is co-editor of the forthcoming book SNAP Matters: How Food Stamps Affect Health and Well Being at Stanford University Press, and editor of Welfare Reform and its Long Term Consequences for America’s Poor published by Cambridge University Press (2009) and Appalachian Legacy: Economic Opportunity after the War on Poverty published by Brookings Institution Press (2012).


brigham_grant_small.jpgGrant Brigham is the Executive Director at Jones Valley Teaching Farm (JVTF), an education nonprofit in Birmingham, AL. Over the last three years, JVTF has educated over 15,000 students on its urban teaching farm and launched Good School Food, a pre-K-12th grade in-school food education model, in six Birmingham City Schools. Good School Food is designed to improve student learning and increase access to healthy food at the school level.

Prior to JVTF, Grant was the Country Director for a start-up development nonprofit in Uganda. Grant received a BA from Furman University, a Master's in Agricultural & Extension Education from North Carolina State University, and completed a year-long program in Social Entrepreneurship at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, where he worked with a social enterprise in India that provides agricultural services to over 1 million smallholding farmers.

Stephanie Cihon has been with ProMedica since 2001 and has held numerous positions in communications and cihon_stephanie_small.jpgadvocacy. In her current role, she has administrative responsibility for community relations, advocacy and grants. She is specifically interested in furthering the public’s understanding of a mission-based organization and its role in working with and on behalf of the communities served so that all residents have the opportunity to reach their full potential. She is responsible for the development and oversight of ProMedica’s Come to the Table hunger as a health issue initiative and is involved in both acute, ambulatory and community projects.

Harriet W. Giles serves a dual role as director of external relations for the Auburn University College of Human cihon_stephanie_small.jpgSciences (CHS) and managing director of the Auburn University Hunger Solutions Institute (HSI). In her external relations role, she provides leadership for a range of CHS outreach and programmatic initiatives, including the International Quality of Life Awards held annually at the United Nations.   
As managing director of the HSI, Giles lends oversight to the Auburn War on Hunger, a comprehensive student grassroots and academic initiative that began in 2004 in partnership with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP); provides leadership and coordinates programmatic efforts for Universities Fighting World Hunger (UFWH), a global network of higher education institutions that she co-founded with College of Human Sciences dean June Henton in 2006; and works collaboratively with executive team colleagues of the Hunger Solutions Institute to build key public and private partnerships that will enable the HSI to meet its strategic goals and to achieve global prominence. Among other responsibilities, Giles currently chairs the End Child Hunger in Alabama task force, a group comprised of key state leaders from more than 30 organizations representing the public and private sectors. The campaign was launched in 2012 as the first outreach initiative of the HSI.

Prior to assuming her current administrative positions within the College of Human Sciences and the HSI, Giles was a faculty member in the Auburn University Department of Human Development and Family Studies for 18 years. Special honors and awards have included a year-long Rotary International Graduate Fellowship; Faculty Member of the Year for the College of Human Sciences; and (non-student) recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, the highest humanitarian recognition bestowed by Auburn University. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the East Alabama Food Bank. Giles holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree from Auburn University and the Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Georgia.

reaney_david_small.jpgDavid Reaney was born in Ottumwa, Iowa and raised in Bakersfield, California. He enlisted in the Army as an Intelligence Analyst in 1969 and served in the United States and Federal Republic of Germany, attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant prior to commissioning through the Officer Candidate program at Fort Benning, Georgia in 1974.

Following completion of training as a Military Intelligence Officer, David Reaney served in intelligence and training assignments over the next 26 years at 12 different locations in the United States, Europe and Asia. His assignments included duty while a Captain as Assistant Professor of Military Science at the University of South Alabama from 1981 to 1983. As a Major he served as Chief of the Electronic Intelligence Watch, US European Command in Stuttgart, Germany supporting operations following the bombing of the Beirut Marine Barracks as well as the 1986 US attack on Libya. During operation DESERT STORM he served as Chief of the Army’s Technical Analysis Element at the National Security Agency responsible for direct intelligence support to deployed Army forces, for which the organization was awarded the Army Superior Unit Award. While a Lieutenant Colonel commanding the 751st Military Intelligence Battalion in Korea, the Battalion won the Army’s Maintenance Excellence competition and was the Army’s 1994 nominee for the outstanding electronic intelligence unit in the Department of Defense. Promoted to Colonel in 1996, he was assigned to the National Security Agency as Deputy Chief of the Office of Global Response until being detailed in 1999 to the newly formed Information Operations Technology Center as Chief, Analysis and Assessments Group. He retired in February 2000 with over 30 years of active service.

In April 2000 Mr. Reaney was appointed Executive Director of the Bay Area Food Bank with responsibility for distributing donated food throughout a 24 county service area in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida as part of the Feeding America network of food banks. Since 2000 the Food Bank has moved to a new facility, increased distribution from 4 to over 19 million pounds annually, established local grocer pickup operations with over 160 stores, acquired ten refrigerated delivery vehicles, developed afterschool snack, weekend back pack and summer lunch programs for children at over 100 locations, initiated delivery operations into rural communities and constructed a branch warehouse in Milton, Florida. Today’s operation involves a staff of fifty augmented by volunteers providing over 130,000 hours annually. Mr. Reaney has served on the board of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce and serves as President of the Mobile Bay Area Veterans Day Commission. He serves on Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey’s End Child Hunger in Alabama Task Force, is President of the Alabama Food Bank Association and past President of the Florida Association of Food Banks.

Mr. Reaney has a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from the University of New York and a Master of Science degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California. He is a 1987 graduate of the US Air Force Air Command and Staff College, The Director, National Security Agency Fellowship Program in 1995 and the US Army War College in 1996. He is a 1999 inductee into the Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame at Fort Benning, Georgia and a 2001 inductee into the University of South Alabama ROTC Department Hall of Fame. His fifteen military service awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal. He and his Wife, Monika, were married at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona in 1971 and have two grown children residing in Maryland and Alabama.

placeholder.gifMargaret L. Morton is the Executive Director of the Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement, Inc. SAFE Family Services Center and has been serving in that capacity since 1998. She received her B.S., M.A. and her Ed.S. degrees from the University of Alabama and certification in Guidance and Counseling from Jacksonville State University. Mrs. Morton is retired from the public schools of Alabama with over 30 years of service and has served as adjunct faculty at both the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of West Alabama. Under her leadership, as the Executive Director, SAFE has provided comprehensive services to strengthen and support families across Talladega County and the region. Through this work, Sylacauga, Alabama and the surrounding community has been a five time designee by America’s Promise Alliance and ING of one of the 100 Best Communities in the Nation for Young People. Twice, Mrs. Morton has been recognized by the Cottaquilla Council of Girl Scouts for their Woman Committed to Excellence Award. In 2008 Mrs. Morton was presented the Distinguished Citizen Award by the Greater Alabama Council for the Boy Scouts of America. In March 2013 she was awarded the Heart of an Eagle Award by the Greater Alabama Council of the Boy Scouts of America. She has also been awarded the 2013 Frances E. Couch Lifetime Award by the Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama, the highest adult recognition for a lifetime of leadership and service. In 2010, Mrs. Morton was presented with the Elizabeth Jenice Riley Memorial Inspiration Award by KidOne Transport. Most recently SAFE was named as a Rural Health Hero by the Institute for Rural Health Research for its collaboration at the local level in the development and implementation of evidence informed strategies designed to address health and wellness in rural Alabama. She is a graduate of Leadership Alabama and Leadership Sylacauga and serves on a variety of community, state and national committees including the Ending Childhood Hunger Alabama Task Force and the Project Launch State Child Wellness Council. She is a member of the University of Alabama College of Education Board of Advisors and the Women of the Capstone. She serves as Treasurer of the Alabama Partnership for Children and previously served in that capacity for the VOICES for Alabama’s Children Board of Directors. She is a charter member of the Alabama Office of School Readiness Advisory Council,, the Blueprint for Alabama’s Children and was a coalition partner for the East Alabama Planning and Development Commission’s CLEAR Plan 2030 initiative. She currently serves as President of the Alabama Network of Family Resource Centers. Mrs. Morton resides in Sylacauga, Alabama.