Michael B. Marks is a senior researcher at AIR with experience in conducting qualitative and case study research, implementation and fidelity studies, analyzing ways to foster authentic consumer engagement, and furthering organizational knowledge translation/dissemination practices. Dr. Marks works with organizations to develop and evaluate innovative community strategies designed to enhance permanency, family connections, and social capital for youth transitioning from foster care or re-entering community from child welfare and juvenile placements. Program areas of interest and expertise include positive youth development with special interest in youth involved in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems; practice and policy innovations with involuntary and “proven-risk” youth, including wraparound casework, restorative justice, peer leadership, and civic engagement; and public/private organizational and systems collaboration. Dr. Marks currently serves on AIR’s internal team planning and implementation team working on Pay for Success projects including a recently funded federal HUD/DOJ initiative using Pay for Success financing methods to support housing and services innovations for chronically homeless adults returning from prison and a Kresge Foundation project to produce a toolkit that furthers readiness of disadvantaged communities to participate in Pay for Success initiatives.
Dr. Marks previously served as the project manager for the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities Organizational Commitments Project. The Organizational Commitments Project involved the development of standards and measures for High Impact Organizations, in 10 core areas such as Co-creating with Community, Engaging all Voices, Partnership with Purpose, Advancing Equity, Measuring that Matters, and Leading with Vision, culminating in a 150 question assessment tool that tracks organizational progress from baseline in each of the core areas. Responsibilities included standards development, survey design, overseeing data analysis, and reporting and assisting Alliance and organizational membership staff in data translation to effect organizational change.
Prior to joining AIR, Dr. Marks served as chief development officer and national director for Research with Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. He also served as deputy executive director of the Seaman’s Society for Children and Families in New York City; director of social services policy at the New York based Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies (COFCCA), and as a child welfare services specialist at the New York State Department of Social Services. Dr. Marks also consulted with states and counties and has led international work adapting innovative community models within child welfare and probation departments.