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Christine Y. Mason, PhD

Founder and Executive Director and SEED Grant Co-Principal Investigator

Chris is an educational psychologist and CEI’s Founder and Executive Director. Chris is a nationally recognized expert, consultant, moderator, and frequent speaker on student trauma, mindfulness, children’s mental health, peer supports and teen suicide prevention, listening to youth, furthering equity, and implementing mindfulness, yoga, and meditation in schools. She is also an assistant clinical professor in the department of psychiatry at Yale University’s School of Medicine for the Program for Community Health and Recovery and a co-host of the podcast series Cultivating Resilience: A Whole Community Approach for Alleviating Trauma in Schools.

Chris has served as a researcher, professor, senior scientist in disability education, university professor, evaluator, consultant, and entrepreneur. She has also served as the Director of Research and Professional Development at the National Association of Elementary School Principals; an Interim Principal at the Miri Piri Academy in Amritsar, India; Director of Professional Development for the Student Support Center in Washington, D.C.; a Senior Research Scientist with CESSI in McLean, Va.; and the Senior Director for Research and Development with the Council for Exceptional Children in Arlington, VA. She is an IKYTA certified yoga instructor with 21 years experience teaching weekly yoga, meditation, and mindfulness classes, and she is also a certified radiant child yoga instructor.

Chris has authored more than 120 books and articles and served as the principal investigator, director, or evaluator on over 15 national projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institutes of Health. Two of these projects focused on teacher mentoring and several projects involved best practices implementation. She has served on many national panels and advisory committees and led strategic planning for federal initiatives at two national organizations. She received her doctorate in Educational Psychology from The Ohio State University and has received awards as a Distinguished Researcher (in Montana) and fellowships for post-doctorate work both from the University of Washington and also to assist with educational planning in India. In 2016, she received a “Pioneer in Children’s Well-being” award from the Robert Woods Johnson and Ashoka Foundations.
As part of her continuing collaboration with colleagues at Yale University, in October 2022 Chris, through an award from the US Department of Education, became the Co-Principal Investigator of the Compassionate School Leadership Academy (CSLA). That initiative focuses on preparing school leaders in high-need districts to be culturally responsive and proactive in implementing trauma-conscious practices in schools.

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