Mary Thorngren is a Certified Health Education Specialist and senior director at AIR with over 30 years of experience in managing and providing training and technical assistance (in person and through online learning technologies) to school districts, community-based organizations, public health, and other systems to improve the lives of children, youth, and families. At AIR, she has served in leadership roles on several technical assistance and other projects that focus on the implementation of evidence based programs and strategies to achieve change. Thorngren is the project director for the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs, a federal collaborative of 18 federal departments and agencies working together to improve youth outcomes. She has overseen the development of three cross-agency collaborative federal websites, youth.gov, Evidence and Innovation and Youth Engaged for Change.
Thorngren is the PI/project director and project manager, respectively, for a CDC youth violence prevention training and technical assistance center and the National Resource Center for Mental Health Promotion Youth Violence Prevention. In her work, she is able to use her decades of experience in providing culturally and linguistically competent services to Latinos and her passion for cross-system collaboration. Her areas of expertise include project management, community-based needs assessments and program development in promotion, prevention, including youth violence prevention, behavioral health; capacity building to design and implement effective community-based solutions involving community-based organizations; cultural and linguistic competency and disparities and disproportionalities, family engagement and youth engagement/development; designing outreach initiatives to improve the health, education, and human services for youth and their families, particularly Latinos, and the use of technology (webinars, teleconferences, and online course platforms) to improve student outcomes and deliver innovative training and technical assistance.
Prior to joining AIR, Thorngren was the vice president for Outreach, Training and Technical Assistance at the National Alliance for Hispanic Health where she served on numerous advisory committees to improve access to health (including behavioral health) services for Latinos. She served as vice-chair for the Board of Directors for the National Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition. During her time at the Alliance, she managed the development of a project to develop a manual and training curriculum on providing culturally and linguistically competent services to Latinos and trained trainers all over the country to implement the training. She also managed the development and adaptation of numerous bilingual health promotion and prevention curricula for Latinos and over the course of her career has presented at numerous conferences, both face to face and online on developing culturally and linguistically competent services; using technology effectively to reach diverse populations, including students with disabilities; leading for systems change; developing integrated systems for children, youth and families and setting up and sustaining school-based mental health services.
M.S.H.R, American University, Organization Development; B.S., School for International Training, International Studies; C.H.E.S., The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Certified Health Education Specialist