L-R: Ronald Mincy, Serena Klempin, Monique Jethwani-Keyser,
and Gretchen Dovholuk (photo by Jamaica Gilmer)


Dr. Ronald B. Mincy is the Director of the Center for Research on Fathers, Children and Family Well-Being and the Maurice V. Russell Professor of Social Policy and Social Work Practice at the Columbia University School of Social Work. He teaches graduate courses on social welfare policy, program evaluation, and microeconomics, and a doctoral seminar on causal inference. He has published widely on the effects of income security policy on child and family poverty, family formation, and child well-being; responsible fatherhood, the urban underclass, and urban poverty. Prior to joining the Columbia faculty, Mincy was Senior Program Officer in the Ford Foundation’s Human development and Reproductive Health Program, where he developed the Strengthening Fragile Families Initiative (SFFI). SFFI was a Ford Foundation grantmaking initiative working with federal, state, and local human service agencies to reform income security policies to enable low-income mothers and fathers to provide emotional, financial, and development support to their children receiving welfare. As a result of SFFI, Mincy is widely regarded as a critical catalyst for changes currently underway in the treatment of low-income fathers by U.S. welfare, child support, and family support systems.

Mincy is a co-principal investigator for the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study a birth cohort study of children born to unmarried parents, which is nationally representative of births in large cities. His most recent book Black Males Left Behind, examines the consequences of the 1990s economic boom for less-educated men.

Dr. Mincy is an advisory board member for the National Poverty Center; the African American Healthy Marriage Initiative; Transition to Fatherhood; the National Fatherhood Leadership Group; the Longitudinal Evaluation of the Harlem Children’s Zone; The Economic Mobility Project, Pew Charitable Trusts; the Mac Arthur Network on Family and the Economy, and Governor Paterson’s Task Force on Juvenile Justice

Dr. Mincy’s undergraduate and graduate training in economics were at Harvard and M.I.T. He and his wife, Flona Mincy, have been married for more than thirty years and live in Harlem, New York. They have two sons.

Gretchen Dovholuk is the Center’s research coordinator. A graduate of Columbia’s MSSW program in Social Enterprise Administration, Gretchen brings a combination of content knowledge and experience in non-profit management to her role. Gretchen has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of New Hampshire where she worked at the Family Research Lab as well as the Affirmative Action Office, and spent a summer interning at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Prior to graduate school she lived and worked in Washington D.C. as a non-profit administrator at a DOE-funded educational equity center.

Eva C. Haldane is a Senior Research Assistant at the Center and is currently exploring the educational and economic gaps between Black Bermudian men and their same age peers and the effects of father involvement on their adult daughter’s sexual behavior. She graduated from Smith College with a B.A. in psychology and received her MSSW in Social Policy from Columbia University. Her research interests include father presence, multiple partner fertility and marriage. Eva recently coauthored an article with Dr. Mincy about the health effects of marriage on low income fathers. In the fall, she will begin a PhD program in Social Policy and Policy Analysis at Columbia University.

Monique Jethwani-Keyser is a Post Doctoral Research Scientist at the Center. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Barnard College, her Masters’ Degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and her PhD in developmental psychology from New York University where she was a Founders’ Fellow. Monique’s research interests include the associations between adolescent’s perceptions of school and their social-emotional well being, both in the United States and abroad. She has worked with schools and youth organizations throughout the US, India and the Virgin Islands to conduct quantitative and qualitative research and evaluation studies, and to consequently identify best practices. For her dissertation, she explored the ways in which the school environment might protect girls in urban India from the risks associated with caste membership and school stress and produced suggestions for educational reform, earning her an Outstanding Research Contribution Dissertation Award from NYU. She is currently managing a qualitative study which explores the educational and professional aspirations of Black Bermudian high school students and young Black Bermudian men. She is also examining the usage of the Earned Income Tax Credit among Non-Custodial Fathers in New York. She has presented at numerous national conferences and trainings on a variety of topics associated with school climate and adolescent development.

Serena Klempin is a Research Assistant at CRFCFW. She graduated from Kenyon College with a major in English and a concentration in African and African American Studies. She obtained a MSSW in Social Policy from Columbia University. Previously Serena served as the Children’s Services Coordinator at a family shelter for women and children, where she was confronted by the consequences of father absence on children. After subsequently working with non-resident fathers enrolled in the New York State Fatherhood Initiative, she developed a deep interest in the use of programs and policy to improve the well-being of non-resident fathers and their children. Her specific research interests include developing best practices in responsible fatherhood programming, understanding the impact of responsible fatherhood programs on the relationship between non-resident fathers and their children, and bridging the gap between responsible fatherhood practice and policy. Serena is currently involved in studies related to the New York State Earned Income Tax Credit for Non-Custodial Parents, and the Fathers & Sons Program, an intervention designed to enhance the relationship between African American non-resident fathers and their 8 – 12 year old sons. In addition, she recently helped complete an evaluation of the Baltimore Responsible Fatherhood Program operated by the Center for Urban Families.