Our Team

Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation

Chris Olver

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Chris Olver is a nonprofit leader with proven fundraising and storytelling track records for mission-driven organizations on three continents. As a former filmmaker, development director, and executive leader, Chris is excited to deploy his skills and passion in service of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation as its Executive Director.

Chris feels a deeply personal pull toward CPARF’s mission. As the father to two young children who were born prematurely — at 28 and 29 weeks respectively — Chris’ family has directly benefited from research into cerebral palsy prevention and detection, including specific research-driven practices funded by CPARF. He is energized and humbled by the opportunity to use his professional experience and skills to continue to expand that research and its impact on people with CP.

Prior to joining CPARF, Chris served as the visual storytelling lead for World Vision Australia and then helped to launch two start-up nonprofits: Boston Rising — a social entrepreneurship foundation based in Boston, and ROADS — a uniquely ambitious charter school network in New York City. Most recently, Chris spent the last five years serving as the Associate Executive Director of Ramapo for Children — a national education reform organization based in New York City. Chris holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts from Flinders University and a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School.

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Glen Deutscher headshot

Glen Deutscher

VP PARTNERSHIPS & OPERATIONS

Glen first joined the team at Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation in May 2017 to help launch Steptember across the United States. Since 2012 Glen has worked with Cerebral Palsy Alliance in Australia as Head of Events. Prior to this, Glen worked for Mission Australia (supporting homelessness & Youth at risk) as Senior Manager for Corporate Partnerships and latterly, National Manager Market Development.

Glen is a marketing and fundraising professional with 25 years’ experience in the Not for Profit and corporate marketing sectors gained across key business disciplines including strategic partnership development, relationship fundraising and Blue Chip consumer marketing management. His passion for advocating on social issues and building social capital to drive sustainable change is the primary driver for his career and community volunteering activities.

Glen has a Post Graduate Degree in Business and an MBA (Non Profit Major) from University of Technology, Sydney.

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Jocelyn Cohen

Director of Communications

Jocelyn Cohen is a writer and a storyteller at heart. She knows a compelling story when she sees one, and that’s why she’s excited to serve as Director of Communications for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation. She will connect CPARF with the community, sharing our dynamic work as it unfolds — our advancements, our discoveries, and our breakthroughs.

Jocelyn has cerebral palsy, and she understands that people with CP each experience it differently — it’s personal. That’s why she’s energized by CPARF’s work and proud to use her voice and professional expertise to make a difference for other people with CP.

Prior to joining CPARF, Jocelyn spent several years as a senior writer at UJA-Federation of New York, where she shaped messaging and drove fundraising communications for some of the organization’s largest divisions, helping to raise nearly $46 million each year.

Outside of work, Jocelyn speaks with local physical therapy students about her life with CP.
Jocelyn earned her BA in Creative Writing/English from Emory University and her JD from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.

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Headshot of Pamela Kass

Pamela Kass

Corporate Partnerships Manager

Pamela Kass is a Corporate Partnerships Manager for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation. She is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and marketing the organization’s main initiative, STEPtember.

She comes to CPARF with a successful track record in the non-for-profit space. Prior to her current role, Pamela served on the Development Team of the AVON 39 walk series, assisting in numerous multi-million dollar fundraising campaigns across seven U.S. markets. A native of North Carolina, Pamela earned her Bachelor of Science in Human Services and Communication Studies from Wingate University. She also serves as the youngest member of the Board of Visitors for her Alma Mater.

Pamela has a passion for social impact and desire to change the trajectory and prevalence of CP through corporate engagement.

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Headshot of Brooke Harrelson

Brooke Harrelson

Corporate Partnerships Manager

Brooke Harrelson is a Corporate Partnerships Manager for Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation. She is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and marketing the organization’s main fundraiser, STEPtember. In addition to being an accomplished sales professional, CPARF’s mission is very close to her heart, as she has a brother with cerebral palsy.

Brooke has worked across the US, including the Southeast and Southern California, as a top tier business development professional, spending 15 years in medical device sales in the hospital environment, Through her experience launching new medical products across markets, she has developed a passion for emerging medical treatments and technologies and thrilled to bring this passion into the disability space and ultimately moving the dial for research into cerebral palsy.

When not growing business initiatives, Brooke can be found volunteering with her therapy dog, Cali, at Ronald McDonald House.

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Margaret LaBattaglia

Corporate Partnerships Manager

Margaret LaBattaglia is a Corporate Partnerships Manager for Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation. She is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and marketing the organization’s main fundraiser, STEPtember.

Margaret is a seasoned business development, sales, marketing and project management professional, with over 25 years of experience in the publishing, healthcare and telecom industries. Over 16 of those years were with the American College of Physicians, the world’s largest medical society.

Margaret is passionate about the life-changing mission of CPARF. Her work is not just a job, but a labor of love. She is over the top excited to have the opportunity to bring her experience and passion together to support STEPtember and everything it embodies. Margaret is a believer that everyone has the ability to make a difference, and help people with CP to live their best life.

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James Renard headshot

James Renard

Office and Database Manager

James Renard is a data base and systems integration professional. He specializes in identifying software applications and developing processes to improve business operations and to enhance and streamline fundraising and communications efforts.

James has more than twenty years’ experience at a variety of national and international direct service and educational not for profit organizations in New York City, among them the National Foundation For Teaching Entrepreneurship and the French-American Foundation.

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Andres Martinez headshot

Andres Martinez

Junior Graphic Designer

Andres is a junior graphic designer working with CPARF in communicating and visualizing their vision of spreading awareness, informing the general public, and bringing people together on cerebral palsy research. This will, in turn, bring upon the research and development towards the aid and treatment of cerebral palsy. Andres grew up in Fairview, NJ — a small town overlooking the New York City skyline and graduated from Montclair State University with a B.A. in Fine Arts, with a concentration in drawing. This has given him knowledge in different respective disciplines in the arts (graphic design, illustration, photography, painting, etc.). Andres continues to expand his knowledge and is proud to work with CPARF.

Coming into CPARF, Andres learned about the many research programs CPARF funds and was immediately was interested in stem cell research. It is a subject that he feels will revolutionize the way medicine will be implemented in society — similar to the ways the internet has changed communication. It is a field that not only will change the lives of individuals with cerebral palsy but many people with other disabilities, impairments, and degenerating conditions.

Iona Novak

Dr. Iona Novak

PhD MSc (Hons) BAppSc

I was told that preventing/curing cerebral palsy was impossible, but we are already a third of the way there. Help us make the impossible possible for families!
Dr. Iona Novak

Dr. Novak manages the strategic development of research into the prevention and cure of cerebral palsy and conducts clinical research into effective interventions for people living with cerebral palsy, including evidence-based practice initiatives and collaborative international and inter-agency research work.

As a Fulbright Scholar in 2013, Professor Novak travelled to the University of California, San Francisco, for four months to establish and lead an International and American cerebral palsy research consortium with an emphasis on stem cells to aggregate data and accelerate the rate of research. Professor Novak continues this research to translate the findings to direct improvements in clinical services.

Professor Novak has extensive clinical experience as an Occupational Therapist and holds: a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) from the University of Sydney; a Master of Science (Hons) and a PhD from the University of Western Sydney. She has won dozens of awards and prizes for her cutting edge work. Through Dr. Novak’s work with the International Cerebral Palsy Conference, the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine and dozens of other summits and collaborations she is an international leader whose expertise is relied upon to find and fund the best research minds in the world.

Nadia Badawi

Professor Nadia Badawi AM

PhD FRACP FRCPI MSc

I have no hesitation in now saying that one day there will be prevention and cure for cerebral palsy.
Professor Nadia Badawi

Professor Badawi AM is an internationally recognized neonatologist with extensive experience working in the field of cerebral palsy and newborn brain conditions. Professor Badawi’s dedication, commitment, and determination have put cerebral palsy research under the international spotlight.

In 2009, Cerebral Palsy Alliance appointed Professor Badawi as Australia’s first Chair of Cerebral Palsy to oversee projects funded by the Research Foundation of Cerebral Palsy Alliance. The position is currently based at Sydney Medical School within the University of Sydney’s Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Professor Badawi is renowned for her research on the outcomes of cerebral palsy, aneonatal encephalopathy, neonatal intensive care, and neurodevelopmental outcomes following major cardiac and non-cardiac surgery. She has written some of the most frequently cited cerebral palsy research papers in the world.

In 2014, Professor Badawi was awarded Membership of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for her significant service to pediatrics and neonatal intensive care medicine as a clinician and researcher, and for her leadership and promotion of cerebral palsy research.

Her reputation as a leading authority on cerebral palsy has ensured the Research Foundation has some of the world’s best research minds now collaborating and working proactively to find ways to establish best-practice interventions to help people with CP live the fullest possible lives, and to pursue prevention and, ultimately, a cure.