Meet Bryan Samuels, Stories that Connect Featured Speaker

Bryan Samuels is the Executive Director of Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, a nonprofit policy research institute focused on connecting research to action. Under Samuels’ leadership, Chapin Hall is actively working in more than 40 states in building knowledge and creating solutions with and for public system partners, community leaders and members, and families—all with an aim to improve the well-being of children and youth and ensure all families thrive.

Across his career, Samuels’ work has centered on identifying and addressing inequities using evidence in policymaking. Key accomplishments include the creation and application of a well-being framework based on the best developmental understanding of normal childhood development; formation of a shared and actionable understanding of the effects of exposure to violence, trauma, poverty, and adverse childhood experiences on the mental, emotional, behavioral, and physical health of children; and emphasis on the importance of building the capacity of public and private child- and family-serving systems and organizations to focus on and produce positive outcomes.

Samuels was appointed by President Obama as the Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families (ACYF), where he served from 2009 to 2013 and leveraged the work of federal departments including Health and Human Services, Justice, and Education, among others, on behalf of children in foster care, youth experiencing housing instability, and families impacted by domestic violence. He received his B.A. in Economics from the University of Notre Dame in 1989 and his M.P.P. from the University of Chicago-Harris School in 1993.