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Advisory Board

Attachment Parenting International's Advisory Board members are experts in their professional fields, giving advice, lending their expertise, and supporting the mission and vision of API.

Stephen J. Bavolek, PhD

President of Family Development Resources, Inc.

Stephen J. Bavolek, PhD, is a recognized leader in the fields of child abuse and neglect treatment and prevention and parenting education. Dr. Bavolek's professional background includes working with emotionally disturbed children and adolescents in schools and residential settings and with abused children and abusive parents in treatment programs.

Sir Richard Bowlby, Bt.

API's Advisory Board

Richard Bowlby, the son of Dr. John Bowlby who first developed attachment theory, worked as a scientific photographer in various medical research institutions where he produced visual aids for communicating research findings.

He retired in 1999 to promote a wider understanding of attachment theory to healthcare practitioners and interested lay people. His present concern is the psychological impact on babies and toddlers being cared for by unfamiliar people in day care who do not develop long-term secondary attachment bonds to one caregiver.

Isabelle Fox, PhD

Psychotherapist & Author 

Dr. Fox received degrees from Harvard/Radcliffe College and UCLA. For 35 years, she was a practicing psychotherapist at the Western Psychological Center, in Encino, California, specializing in parent-child relationships and developmental issues. For 10 years, she was the senior mental health consultant for Operation Head Start in Los Angeles, and she is a frequent lecturer on child development issues.

Lu Hanessian

Advisory Board

Lu Hanessian is author of the acclaimed memoir Let the Baby Drive: Navigating the Road of New Motherhood (St. Martin's Press, 2004), veteran TV journalist and former NBC anchor of Real Life, Discovery Health Channel host of Make Room for Baby, weekly newspaper parenting columnist, national speaker, and workshop facilitator.

Jan Hunt, MS

Child Psychologist & Director

Jan Hunt, B.A. Psychology, M.Sc. Counseling Psychology, is the Director of the Natural Child Project, an attachment parenting/unschooling counselor, and a member of the Board of Directors of the CSPCC (Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children). She is also a member of the advisory boards of Holistic Moms Network, Child-Friendly Initiative, and Attachment Parenting International.

William Sears, MD

Pediatrician and Author 

William Sears, one of America's most renowned pediatricians, is the father of 8 children, ages 15 to 40 years, author of over 40 books on childcare, and Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine. A pediatrician for over 35 years, he currently lives and practices pediatrics along with his three sons Dr. Bob and Dr. Jim, and Dr. Pete in San Clemente, California.

Mary Elizabeth Curtner-Smith, PhD, CFLE

Associate Professor, University of Alabama

Dr. Mary Elizabeth Curtner-Smith received her PhD from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro in Child Development and Family Relations with a doctoral minor in Psychology. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies where she serves as co-coordinator of the Developmental Science concentration in the Psychology PhD program.

Her primary research focuses on how parent-child relationships influence children's development, especially children's peer aggression and social competence.

Elliott Barker, MD

Psychiatrist & Founder of the Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (CSPCC)

Canadian psychiatrist and child advocate Dr. Elliott Barker is the founder/director of the Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (CSPCC) and editor of the quarterly journal Empathic Parenting (no longer in publication). His compassion, insight and zeal have helped parents and professionals world-wide to understand the critical need for treating children with trust and respect.

Jay Gordon, MD

API's Advisory Board

 In the middle of his residency training, pediatrician Jay Gordon took an unusual step. Deciding that he needed greater knowledge about nutrition, vitamins, and alternative medicine in order to practice medicine the way he wanted to, Dr. Gordon took a Senior Fellowship in Pediatric Nutrition at Sloan-Kettering Institute in New York City. After his residency at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Dr. Gordon joined the teaching attending faculty at UCLA Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Dr. James McKenna

Notre Dame

Professor James J. McKenna is recognized as the world’s leading authority on mother-infant co-sleeping, in relationship to breastfeeding and SIDS. In recognition of his work in 2009 he was admitted as a Fellow into the select body of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's most prestigious scientific society.

Marian Tompson

  LLLI co-Founder

Marian Tompson, one of the Founders of La Leche League International, was its President for 24 years. Wife of the late Clement Tompson, she is the mother of seven children, grandmother of 17 and great grandmother of fourteen.

Bruce Perry, MD, PhD

Psychiatrist & Neuroscience Researcher 
The Child Trauma Academy

Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D., is an internationally-recognized authority on children in crisis. Dr. Perry is the Provincial Medical Director in Children’s Mental Health for the Alberta Mental Health Board. In addition, he is the Senior Fellow of the ChildTrauma Academy (, a Houston-based organization dedicated to research and education on child maltreatment. Dr.

Michael Trout, MA

Director, The Infant-Parent Institute

Michael Trout graduated from Alma College (B.A., cum laude, honors in Philosophy) and Central Michigan University (M.A., Psychology), and did his specialized training in infant psychiatry at the Child Development Project, University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry, under Prof. Selma Fraiberg.

In the mental health field since 1968 and in private practice since 1979, Mr. Trout has, since 1986 directed The Infant-Parent Institute, which engages in research, clinical practice and clinical training related to problems of attachment.

Minda Lazarov

Honorary RAC Member - (d. 2012)

Minda Lazarov was a nutritionist whose professional career spanned a variety of positions with government and private nonprofit organizations serving low income families.

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