Danielle Z. Kassow, PhD

Director, Programs

Trauma-Free NYC, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University

Dr. Kassow is a research scientist and leader in the early childhood/early learning field, with extensive experience on both the east and west coasts. She began her career as a special education public high school teacher in a rural and high-risk community in upstate New York. The challenges her students faced during the years leading to adulthood inspired her to think deeply about the criticalness of early childhood and the key factors children need to thrive and succeed across the lifespan. Dr. Kassow went on to obtain a doctoral degree in Educational Psychology & Methodology and has devoted her career to the well-being of children, families, and communities. She has been a called upon as an early childhood and parenting expert by many media outlets, and her publications on parent-child attachment and early literacy remain popular. Dr. Kassow previously served as the Executive Director of Strategy & Policy for the Division of Early Childhood Education at the New York City Department and launched her own consulting firm in 2010. In 2016, her consulting services were retained by the Mailman School of Public Health to launch a new initiative, Trauma-Free NYC, a university-based program focused on identifying and promoting trauma-informed practices and policies in New York City. She was later asked to join the team full-time in 2019. Dr. Kassow is also a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner, a form of somatic education. Dr. Kassow aims to bridge her extensive knowledge of early childhood and adverse childhood experiences with health, healing practices, and lifelong wellbeing.