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Bryan Samuels, MSW

Executive Director Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, named as one of "100 Champions for Children"

Bryan Samuels is the Executive Director of Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. At Chapin Hall, Samuels’ deep expertise is aimed at the active integration of empirical evidence into public policy decision making, as well as into the management of government agencies, the design and delivery of programs, and frontline practice. He leads the organization in accelerating the use of evidence by those whose mission is to improve the lives of children, adolescents, and families. Since taking the helm of Chapin Hall, Samuels has focused on matching Chapin Hall’s historical reputation for rigorous research with unparalleled in-house policy expertise to further the organization’s impact. Samuels’ broad experience as a decision maker himself—and his lifelong work in partnership with policymakers and practitioners—undergirds his successful approach to shaping actionable and sustainable solutions based on evidence.

Prior to joining Chapin Hall in 2013, Samuels was the commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Samuels administered federal programs addressing child abuse and neglect, runaway and homeless youth, domestic and intimate partner violence, and teen pregnancy. Samuels has also served as chief of staff at Chicago Public Schools and as director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the nation’s third-largest child welfare agency.

The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) named Chapin Hall Executive Director Bryan Samuels one of its “100 Champions for Children” in celebration of the organization’s centennial anniversary. Awardees were nominated by their peers and chosen for their promotion of child well-being and for advancing the field of child welfare.

Samuels holds a Masters of Public Policy from the Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago and a BA from the University of Notre Dame. He has lectured at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. Samuels has testified before Congress about the well-being of children in foster care, and frequently presents and writes on topics including the impact of trauma on child well-being and the use of evidence-based interventions to ensure all young people reach their full potential.

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