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Who We Are


Nadia Ward, Director

Nadia Ward, M.Ed, Ph.D.

Director of the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise
Professor of Practice, Education Department
and Frances L. Hiatt School of Psychology


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Nadia L. Ward, M.Ed., Ph.D., came to the Mosakowski Institute from Yale University, where she served as  Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology) and the Deputy Director of Clinical Training in Clinical and Community Psychology, Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry; and the Director of Urban Education & Prevention Research and Senior Evaluation Consultant with YaleEVAL at the Consultation Center at Yale.

Her extensive work in the area of academic achievement for racial and ethnic minority students has spanned more than 20 years and has included training and consultation to universities, public school systems, and private organizations; curriculum development; program development; implementation; and community-engaged research and evaluation.

Dr. Ward has worked extensively with high-risk as well as high-achieving urban youths and their families in a variety of capacities. She has designed and evaluated academic enrichment and competence-enhancing substance abuse and violence prevention programs in school and community settings.

Additionally, Dr. Ward is a leader in comprehensive urban school reform efforts where she engages schools and communities in the development, implementation, and evaluation of systemic interventions designed to improve school climate, academic performance, and educational trajectories of low-income and minority youth.

Dr. Ward’s areas of expertise include school-based mental health, substance abuse prevention among youth, social-emotional learning, academic achievement, educational disparities, urban school reform, education policy, and school-based prevention.

Dr. Ward has presented at regional, national, and international conferences on topics related to systemic school reform, educational disparities, social-emotional learning, educational aspirations and attainment among urban adolescents, and school-based prevention. Her research has been published in recognized peer-reviewed journals. She has appeared on National Public Radio (NPR), CNN Money, and has been quoted in the New York Post, U.S. News & World Report, and SHAPE magazine. She has received numerous awards for her research, teaching, mentoring, and service to the community.

Jane and William Mosakowski Distinguished Professor of Higher Education


John O’Brien is the immediate past president and CEO of UMass Memorial Health Care and a national leader in advocating for the health of vulnerable populations. He formerly served as CEO of the Cambridge Health Alliance and commissioner of health for the City of Cambridge, and is a past chair of the board of the Massachusetts Hospital Association. He continues to serve on several boards of directors in the health field. He played a leadership role in helping to strengthen and catalyze the Mosakowski Institute’s work on issues of health and well-being. O’Brien holds an A.B. in economics from Harvard College and an MBA in health care administration from Boston University.


Richard Freeland, the former president of Northeastern University, is nationally known for his leadership in practice-oriented education, emphasizing the importance of connecting classroom learning with real-world experience. While at the Institute, Freeland helped Clark to design its signature Liberal Education and Effective Practice (LEEP) initiative. He left the Mosakowski Professorship in 2009 to become Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education, a role he filled until 2015, and currently serves on Clark’s Board of Trustees. Freeland received his bachelor’s degree in American studies from Amherst College and his doctorate in American civilization from the University of Pennsylvania.