The executive leadership The Lourie Center based in Rockville, MD.

Executive Leadership

James Venza, PhD

James Venza, PhDExecutive Director

Dr. James Venza serves as executive director of The Lourie Center for Children's Social & Emotional Wellness. Dr. Venza provides strategic direction for the Lourie Center's core programs: The Parent-Child Clinical Services Program; Lourie Center School; Therapeutic Nursery Program; and Early Head Start Program.

Dr. Venza joined the Lourie Center in 2003 to complete his postdoctoral training in the Therapeutic Nursery and Parent-Child Clinical Services programs. In 2004, Dr. Venza became director of the Therapeutic Nursery Program (TNP), a mental health and early childhood education program that provides integrated educational and therapeutic support for preschool children exhibiting emotional and behavioral disturbances. Dr. Venza has extensive experience and training with children, adolescents and families from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic populations, often dealing with trauma, abuse, crisis management and a wide range of mental health issues. Dr. Venza has presented at local and national conferences on topics such as attachment theory, child placement consultation, social-emotional development of children and families and therapeutic interventions for social, emotional, and behavioral disturbances in children.

Dr. Venza earned a bachelor's degree in anthropology and history from the University of Notre Dame, and a doctorate degree in clinical psychology from Long Island University's Brooklyn campus.

Jill Brown, LCSW-C

Jill Brown, LCSW-CDirector, Parent-Child Clinical Services Program

Jill is the Director of the Parent-Child Clinical Services Program and a licensed clinical social worker. In her roles, Jill is responsible for providing diagnostic evaluations, treatment planning, and psychotherapy services to children and their families, provides clinical and administrative oversight to Clinic staff, ensures fiscal and budgetary accountability, oversees disposition meetings and assigns cases, as well as participates in grant writing and research activities.

Jill began her career at the Lourie Center in 2006 while completing her field experience during her master’s program. After completing her field experience, she joined the Lourie Center in 2007 as a social worker. In 2013 she became a clinical supervisor in the Parent-Child Clinical Services Program, and in 2016 she was promoted to her current role as Director of the Parent-Child Clinical Services Program. Prior to joining the Lourie Center, Jill worked for Child, Inc. at the Family Visitation Centers of New Castle County as a counselor, acting coordinator and supervisor

Jill earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Delaware in Family and Community Services, and her master's degree in social work from The Catholic University of America.

Angela Card, MS, ECE-LPA

Angela Card, MS, ECE-LPADirector, Early Head Start Program

Angela Card joined the Lourie Center for Children's Social & Emotional Wellness in 2016 as the Director of the Early Head Start (EHS) program. Her responsibilities include preparing the annual budget and work plan, preparing grant applications, overseeing staff development and developing partnership agreements with other agencies.

Angela joins the Lourie Center with 21 years of experience in Head Start, Early Head Start and early childhood education programs, where she has gained expertise in assessing program needs and assisting in the development of operational systems, policies and procedures to enhance program quality.

Angela earned a master's degree in Leadership, Policy and Administration in Early Care and Education from Wheelock College, and a bachelor's degree in Family Relations and Child Development from Oklahoma State University.

Anna Curtin, PhD

Anna Curtin, PhDDirector, Therapeutic Nursery Programs

Dr. Curtin is the Director of the Therapeutic Nursery Programs (TNP). In her role, Dr. Curtin develops and implements clinical and administrative policies and procedures for the TNPs, oversees implementation of treatment plans and strategies, as well as being responsible for recruitment and intake interviews of eligible and appropriate children and their families.

Dr. Curtin began her career at the Lourie Center while completing her pre-doctoral training as a Child Therapy extern from 2011-2012. In 2014, she became a post-doctoral clinician in the Parent-Child Clinical Services Program and TNP. In 2015, she was promoted to Clinical Director of the Therapeutic Nursery Program, and in 2016 she was appointed to her current role. Prior to joining the Lourie Center, Dr. Curtin worked for Children’s National Medical Center, Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Gallaudet University Mental Health Center. She is also bilingual in English and American Sign Language.

Dr. Curtin earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Rochester, and her master's and doctorate degree from Gallaudet University.

Alan Ezagui, MHCA

Alan EzaguiDevelopment Director

Alan Ezagui is the Development Director for the Lourie Center for Children's Social & Emotional Wellness (Lourie Center). He leads the Lourie Center’s fundraising activities including major gifts, foundation grants, corporate donations, estate gifts, prospect and donor engagement initiatives, Board development, and direct mail.

Alan joined the Lourie Center in 2017 bringing 25 years of experience advocating for social causes for children. Prior to joining the Lourie Center, Alan served as the Deputy Director of Development of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). At AACAP Alan raised more than $7 million to benefit AACAP initiatives (current and pledged gifts), as well as secured the largest individual gift in AACAP history. Alan has also held fundraising leadership roles at Active Minds, Inc. from 2010 to 2011 and Adventist HealthCare Behavioral Health & Wellness Services Foundation (formerly Potomac Ridge Behavioral Health) from 2003 to 2009.

Alan earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina, and his master’s degree in healthcare administration from The George Washington University.

James Hererra, MD

James Hererra, MDMedical Director

Dr. James Herrera is the medical director of The Lourie Center for Children's Social & Emotional Wellness, and organization affiliated with Adventist HealthCare. Dr. Herrera joined the Lourie Center as medical director in 2007 and has been responsible for managing and directing all programs, services and clinical staff. Among his duties, Dr. Herrera provides psychiatric evaluations for children and families, works to advance Lourie Center staff learning opportunities and works on strategic and financial planning for the organization.

Dr. Herrera brings to the Lourie Center advanced medical training and more than 10 years of health care experience. He also serves as a child and adolescent psychiatry consultant to the Foundation School in Prince George's County. In this role, he provides diagnostic clarification, medication management consulting and psychotherapy for the student population. In addition to his responsibilities at the Lourie Center and Foundation School, Dr. Herrera has his own private practice.

Dr. Herrera earned a bachelor of arts in religion and psychology from the University of Virginia and a medical degree from Howard University's College of Medicine. He completed his psychiatry training at Harvard (adult residency) and his child and adolescent fellowship at Children's National Medical Center.

Melanie Jewell

Melanie JewellAdministrative Director

Melanie Jewell serves as the Administrative Director of The Lourie Center for Children's Social & Emotional. Melanie has been a part of the Lourie Center since 2008, her most recent role was as the Contract Manager for the Lourie Center’s contract with the Montgomery County Infants and Toddlers Program. She has worked in the healthcare industry over the last 30 years in as Music Therapist, Early Interventionist and in a variety of health care management roles.

Melanie’s responsibilities include, helping drive the Lourie Center’s measures around employee engagement, client satisfaction, as well as quality and safety. In conjunction with ensuring the organization is more data driven, Melanie also serves as operational leadership support for the Lourie Center.

Melanie earned her bachelor's degree from Shenandoah College and Conservatory of Music (now Shenandoah University).

Board of Directors


James Venza, PhD - Secretary

Executive Director, The Lourie Center for Children's Social & Emotional Wellness

Marcel Wright

Chair of the Lourie Center’s board of directors, Vice President of Behavioral Health Services for Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center


Carol Garvey, MD, MPH
Vice President for Policy, Garvey Associates, Inc.

Brenda Jones Harden, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Human Development & Quantitative Methodology, University of Maryland

Edward Alan Feinberg, PhD
Coordinator of Birth to Five Services/Division of Special Education - Retired, Anne Arundel County Public Schools

Lisa J. Stark
Senior Attorney Civil Rights Division, Appellate Section - Retired, U.S. Dept. of Justice

Mike Lukens
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Adventist Healthcare Shady Grove Medical Center

Robert C. Wehner Jr.
Vice President, M&T Bank

Joshua E. Jacobs
Consultant, Community Member

Todd M. Cohen
Senior Director, AtSite Solutions

Ben Vaughan
Senior Partner, Armstrong, Donohue, Ceppos, Vaughan & Rhoades, Chartered

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