2016 Keynote Presentations

Welcome remarks by Camille Maben, Executive Director, First 5 California

Introductory remarks by George Halvorson, Chairperson, California Children and Families Commission

Introductory remarks by Diane Levin, Chief Deputy Director, First 5 California







Keynote by Emada E. Tingirides, Lieutenant, Los Angeles Police Department
Lieutenant Emada Tingirides was born in the city of Los Angeles to a single mother and was raised in Watts and South West Los Angeles.

In 1995, Emada joined the Los Angeles Police Department and completed her probationary period in the West Los Angeles Area. Emada promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2006 and completed her probationary time in Harbor Division. In 2007, Southeast Area Community Police Station was in search of a supervisor who had the ability to overhaul and reinvigorate the Community Relations Office. Emada transferred to Southeast Area with the goal of uniting a community and bridging the historical gap between law enforcement and the community it served. During this same time, Emada returned to college and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from National University.

In 2011, Emada was selected by the Chief of Police to coordinate the Community Safety Partnership Program (CSP). Her goal is to expand the Community Safety Partnership Program into all 14 public housing Developments in the City of Los Angeles.

Emada continues to dedicate her law enforcement career to the South Los Angeles community and has recently been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant; all while being married to the LAPD police Commander of Operations-South Bureau, the mother of two children and a beautiful blended family of six kids.


Keynote by Alison Gopnik, Ph. D.
The author of The Philosophical Baby, The Scientist in the Crib, and other influential books on cognitive development, Dr. Gopnik presents evidence that babies and children are conscious of far more than we give them credit for, as they engage every sense and spend every waking moment discovering, filing away, analyzing and acting on information about how the world works. Her work draws on psychological, neuroscientific, and philosophical developments in child development research to understand how the human mind learns, how and why we love, our ability to innovate, as well as giving us a deeper appreciation for the role of parenthood.

Dr. Gopnik’s research explores how young children come to know about the world around them. The work is informed by the “theory theory”—the idea that children develop and change intuitive theories of the world in much the way that scientists do. Recently, her research has been concentrating on young children’s causal knowledge and causal learning across domains, including physical, biological and psychological knowledge. In collaboration with computer scientists, Dr. Gopnik and her team of researchers are using the Bayes Net formalism to help explain how children are able to learn causal structure from patterns of data, and they have demonstrated that young children have much more powerful causal learning mechanisms than was previously supposed.


Introductory remarks by Delaine Eastin, former California State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Keynote by Sylvia Acevedo
Sylvia Acevedo is an award winning CEO, global thought leader and visionary who has earned worldwide recognition for her work in addressing two of society’s most vexing challenges—universal access to education and healthcare. In 2010, President Obama named Ms. Acevedo to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics where she serves as Chair of the Early Childhood Subcommittee. In 2012, she was named one of the top 100 American Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) by US News and World Report.

Ms. Acevedo started her career as a rocket scientist at the Jet Propulsion Labs. She has since served as an executive with Fortune 100 companies: Apple, IBM, Autodesk and Dell. As a technology executive, she was well known for her ability to lead divisions to record growth and for her strategic acumen in turning around divisions with poor performance records. Ms. Acevedo holds a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from New Mexico State University. She is currently the Interim CEO of the Girl Scouts of the United States.


Introductory remarks by Diana Dooley, Secretary, California Health and Human Services Agency

Keynote by Junlei Li, Ph. D.
As Co-Director of the Fred Rogers Center and Rita M. McGinley Professor of Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College, Junlei Li seeks to understand and apply Fred Rogers’ philosophy and approach to serve children and their helpers. We look for and communicate what is “simple and deep” and matters most in service of children and their families. With our many partners and students, we strive to enhance the quality of human relationships surrounding children, promote children’s “growing on the inside”, and give positive meaning to the use of technology in children’s learning and growing.

Junlei joined the Center after serving as the Principal Research Scientist at the Fred Rogers Company, Director of Applied Research and Evaluation at University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development, and principal investigator on federal research grants at Carnegie Mellon University. He holds a Ph.D. in psychology and M.A. in instructional science from Carnegie Mellon University, and a B.S. in computer science from University of Notre Dame.