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

Executive Leadership

James Venza, PhD

James Venza, PhDExecutive Director

Dr. James Venza serves as executive director of Adventist HealthCare 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 Adventist HealthCare 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 Adventist HealthCare The Lourie Center for Children's Social & Emotional Wellness. 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 Adventist HealthCare The Lourie Center for Children's Social & Emotional Wellness. 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.

James Cowan

Educational Director, Lourie Center School

Stella Akello

Operations Director

Jane Thompson

Director, Infant & Toddler’s Program-MC

Board of Directors


Daniel Cochran

Chair of the Lourie Center’s Board of Directors; President, Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center


Todd Cohen, FACHE, EDAC
Senior Director, AtSite Solutions, Inc.

Josh Jacobs
Community Member

Brenda Jones Harden, PhD
Alison Richman Professor for Children & Families: Director of the Prevention & Early Adversity Research Laboratory, University of Maryland, School of Social Work - Baltimore

Gwendolyn Mason, Ed.D
Associate Superintendent, Acting Office of Special Education, Montgomery County Public Schools

Kandi McFarland, MBA, BSN, PMH-BC
Vice President, Behavioral Health Service Line, Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center

Victorien Singhe
President, Head Start Policy Council

Martha Velez
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center

Robert C. Wehner Jr.
Executive Vice President, M&T Bank
Retail Market Manager l Greater Washington

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