Senior Management

Michael W. Ames, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer
Michael is an experienced human services leader. He holds a PhD from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, a Master of Business Administration and Master of Social Work, both from Boston College, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York. He has 28 years of experience in human services, having worked in roles from direct service to leadership for organizations such as Crittenton Women’s Union (CWU) and The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC) prior to his role as President and CEO of Doctor Franklin Perkins School (Perkins). He assumed the role of President and CEO of RFK Children’s Action Corps when Perkins and RFK Children’s Action Corps affiliated in September 2020.

Leigh G. Mahoney, Chief Operating Officer
Leigh Mahoney works to ensure the quality and efficacy of RFK Children’s Action Corps’ people and programs.  After spending the last three decades in various leadership roles in education and human services, she believes in the power of removing obstacles for children and families marginalized by disability, trauma, and disadvantage.   She has extensive experience in designing and implementing programming in the special education, child welfare, and juvenile justice systems, and has worked in settings ranging from schools to residential programs and those in the community.  Leigh is a licensed teacher and special education administrator.  She holds a B.A. from Westfield State University and a M.Ed. from American International College.

Lisa Harrington, MBA, Chief Financial Officer
Lisa recently assumed management responsibilities for RFK Children’s Action Corps’ Finance department and has been on staff at Perkins since 1995. She has held a variety of different roles within thePerkins finance department including Accounting Manager, Controller, Director of Administration and Finance, and, ultimately, her current role as Perkins CFO. Lisa graduated from Fitchburg State College with a Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems and a Master’s degree in Business Management.

Mary Driscoll, Vice President of Support Services
Mary Driscoll joined Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps in 2014 with extensive management experience in health & human services in the private, public and non-profit sectors. Mary is responsible for human resources and administrative support services for the agency. She works to assure the systems and structures are in place to provide excellent care and service to the staff and children we serve. Mary holds a BS in Medical Science and a PA certificate from Emory University School of Medicine.

Naomi R. LeBlanc, MBA, Vice President of Organizational Advancement
Naomi brings 15 years of nonprofit, fundraising, and communications experience to her role. She recently assumed management responsibilities for RFK Children’s Action Corps’ Development & External Affairs department and has been on staff at Perkins since 2018. Naomi spent the previous 10 years of her career working for anti-hunger organizations, most recently as the Director of Development for Worcester County Food Bank. Naomi holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Trinity College in Hartford and a Master of Business Administration from Boston University.

Derek J. Padon, Vice President of Human Resources
Derek holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management from Johnson and Wales University and a Human Resources certificate from Northeastern University. He recently assumed management responsibilities for RFK Children’s Action Corps’ Human Resources department and has been on staff at Perkins since 2016. Derek brings 15 years of human resources experience focused on talent acquisition and employee/labor relations. Prior tohis current role, Derek spent five years as the Director of Human Resources for Steward Norwood Hospital. He also worked for CharterCare Health Partners in Providence RI, and the May Institute in Randolph, MA.

Lauren Sousa, Vice President of Program Operations
Lauren Sousa has been with Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps since 2013. She has held numerous clinical positions within the agency prior to becoming the Senior Director of Clinical Services. Previously, she worked in school based settings, drop-in teen centers, and other community based services such as providing in-home and outpatient therapy. Lauren holds an LICSW and a Master or Social Work degree from Simmons College School of Social Work.

Tom Rosa, Director of Community Relations
Tom has been with Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps since 2009, producing annual event presentations and supporting the programs across the organization. He also manages alumni relations for the organization. Prior to his nonprofit work, he enjoyed a 20-year career in the film industry with Warner Bros and Universal Studios. Tom managed/coordinated the 2010 filming of the Discovery Channel’s Documentary on the organization; Children of Promise, and produces the annual video presentations for the Embracing the Legacy Awards. Tom also serves as a Justice of the Peace for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Karen B. Cheyney, Director of Adoption Services
Karen Cheyney joined the agency in December 2008 when Bright Futures Adoption Center, which she co-founded, merged with Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps. For twenty years, Karen has provided a broad range of legal and counseling services for parents and children. She is also an adoptive parent. In 2015, Karen was awarded the H. Betsy Munzer Award for leadership and managerial excellence. She has a JD from Harvard Law School and is also a licensed social worker.

Linda Corey, Director of Training
Linda Corey joined RFK in 1993. During her tenure Linda has held a variety of positions on the Lancaster Campus, including direct care, supervisory positions, and Senior. Program Director. She assumed her current position as Director of Training in June 2012. Linda serves is an instructor for the American Heart Association, Therapeutic Crisis Intervention and Massachusetts Approach to Partnerships in Parenting Program. Linda also serves on the state inter-agency training committee for reducing restraints and seclusion. Linda holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Worcester State College and a certificate in Human Service Management from Clark University.

Emily E. Daniels, Director of Juvenile Justice
Emily Daniels has 15+ years of experience working with at-risk youth.  She has extensive experience developing, implementing and maintaining residential programs to meet the individual need of all students.  She has consistently been recognized as a positive role model for staff and students.  In 2015, Emily was awarded the H. Betsy Munzer Award for leadership and managerial excellence.  Prior to joining Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps in July 2014, Emily served in various roles during an 11-year career at Justice Resource Institute.  She holds a BS in Psychology with a minor in Sociology.

John A. Tuell, Executive Director, Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice
John Tuell currently serves as the Executive Director for the Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice at Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps. Prior to this appointment, he served as the Co-Director of the MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change: Systems Reform in Juvenile Justice initiative at Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps. John has also served as the President of Tuell & Associates Consultation, LLC which provided expert consultation and technical assistance in juvenile justice, child welfare and multi-system reform and quality improvement. He was also an instructor to Multi-System and Information Sharing Certificate Programs at the Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. John has been an author and contributing author to numerous publications that support the work of the Dual Status Youth Initiative and Probation System Review, and related issues impacting the juvenile justice system. Prior to the initiation of the MacArthur Foundation work in 2001, he served in the U.S. Department of Justice from 1997-2001, during which time he was the Deputy Director of the State Relations and Assistance Division in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). He also worked in the Fairfax County, Virginia Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court in probation and residential group care for delinquent offenders. John earned his Bachelor of Social Work degree from James Madison University and his Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from George Washington University.