Our Team

Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation

Nadine Dehgan

CEO

Nadine Dehgan proudly serves as chief executive officer of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation (CPARF). She is thrilled to bring her passion for funding scientific research to the CP space.

There are 17 million people living with cerebral palsy worldwide, and Nadine and CPARF are committed to helping each of them live the best life they possibly can through funded research into cutting-edge therapies that manage CP’s effects and technological innovations that empower people and foster independence.

Nadine was drawn to CPARF because it is propelled by science and hope — twin fuels that cannot exist without each other. CPARF delves into the why, the when, and the how of CP, focusing on its management, prevention, and, ultimately, its cure. Nadine is excited to collaborate with the CP community and to continue sharing CPARF’s advancements as they happen.

Before leading CPARF, Nadine served as CEO of the Hearing Health Foundation, where she forged deep relationships with dozens of institutions, corporations, and individuals, and exponentially widened pathways for research funding. Prior to that, Nadine held executive positions with various educational and service organizations.

Nadine earned her BA from the University of Winnipeg and her MBA from the New York University Stern School of Business. She lives in New York with her family.

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Headshot of Glen Deutscher

Glen Deutscher

VICE PRESIDENT 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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Headshot of Sarah Agopian Campaign Director of Steptember

Sarah Agopian

Campaign Director – Steptember

Sarah joined the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation team in February 2018. She is responsible for managing all marketing, social media, and communications for Steptember, CPARF’s signature fundraiser.

Prior to CPARF, Sarah served as the National Development Manager for the AVON 39 walk series, where she focused on digital strategy. By streamlining e-communications and pushing digital projects forward, Sarah served as a key leader in the success of the 2017 fundraising campaign. Sarah has also served as a Fundraising Manager and Fundraising Coach for AVON 39, including an exemplary year of successfully raising $17.8 million for breast cancer research and services with her team in 2016. Sarah earned her Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies at University of California, Berkeley.

With Sarah’s passion for storytelling and radical transparency in the fundraising space, Sarah is deeply committed to the mission of CPARF and their vision to find a cure for CP.

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Headshot of Nina Miller - Director of Development

Nina Miller

Director of Partnerships

Nina is the Development Director for Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation. As the mother of a child with CP who has benefited greatly from recent treatment breakthroughs, Nina is a powerful advocate for advancing critical CP research and increasing access to new treatment options. Nina heads up development through establishing strategic partnerships, driving major gifts and supporting event and organizational growth. With a particular interest in merging real consumer needs with research and industry, Nina works to foster connections across sectors to accelerate change for the CP community.

Nina came to CPARF with a long history in the nonprofit sector, with years of work in the housing and homelessness arena. One of her marked accomplishments is helping found the national organization, Socialserve.com, an award-winning housing locator service for affordable, special needs and accessible housing.

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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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Dr. Iona Novak

PhD MSc (Hons) BAppSc

I was told that preventing curing cerebral palsy was impossible, but we are already 1/3 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.