Board of Directors

The dedicated professionals who are members of Attachment Parenting International's Board of Directors meet quarterly to develop policies and procedures, define the vision and mission of the organization, and advise staff when needed.

Barbara Nicholson, MEd

API Founder

Barbara Nicholson holds a master's degree in Education, specializing in learning disabilities. She has volunteered for over 20 years with La Leche League International, an educational and support organization for breastfeeding mothers. She is also trained as a facilitator in the Nurturing Parenting Program. Ms. Nicholson co-founded Attachment Parenting International in 1994.

She has spoken to a variety of groups -- including parent educators, psychology students, conference attendees, and juvenile probation officers -- about parenting as a prevention model for societal violence. Ms. Nicholson continues to work closely with API on fundraising and has served on the development committee for the Maternal Infant Health Outreach Worker (MIHOW) Program at Vanderbilt University. Barbara is the mother of four adult sons and resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

Lysa Parker, MS, CFLE

API Founder & Director Emeritus

Lysa Parker has a master's degree in Human Development and Family Studies, is a Certified Family Life Educator (C.F.L.E.), and is a trained facilitator for the Nurturing Parenting Program. Ms. Parker is the co-founder of API and served as the Executive Director from 1994 to 2007. She managed program development and public relations and continues to speak to various groups and conferences about parenting as a prevention model for societal violence.

With a bachelor's degree in Education, specializing in special education, she taught in California, Tennessee, and Alabama during her 20-year career, working with children with multiple handicaps and/or learning disabilities. Other experience includes several years of volunteer work with La Leche League International, a nonprofit organization that provides breastfeeding education and support, and as an API Support Group Leader.

She is the mother of two adult sons and an adult stepdaughter and grandmother to twin grandsons. She lives with her husband in Madison, Alabama. Lysa Parker is available for private consultations, personal parent coaching sessions, workshops, and speaking engagements. Visit her web site to learn more!

Janet Jendron

API's Board of Directors

Janet Jendron, President of the Board of Directors, has been a long-time supporter of API. She served for eleven years on the LLLI Board of Directors and many years on the LLLI Alumnae Association Council. Janet has also served on numerous other non-profit Boards, including church-related and wish granting organizations. She has written articles, contributed to books and spoken at conferences throughout the United States on a wide variety of issues related to her non-profit and paid work. The mother of four children ages 31 to 37, she spends as much time as possible with her nine-year-old granddaughter Mary Grace. She lives in Columbia, South Carolina and works full time at the USC School of Medicine in the SC Assistive Technology Program, where she specializes in information technology accessibility, conference planning, equipment reutilization and public relations.

Martha Sears, RN

Registered Nurse & Author

Martha, wife of renowned pediatrician William Sears, MD, is the mother of eight children, a registered nurse, a former childbirth educator, a La Leche League Leader, and a lactation consultant. Martha is the co-author of many parenting books and is a popular lecturer and media guest, drawing on her 18 years of breastfeeding experience with their 8 children (including Stephen with Down syndrome and Lauren, their adopted daughter).

Martha speaks frequently at national and international parenting conferences and is noted for her advice on how to handle the most common problems facing today's mothers with their changing lifestyles. She is able to connect with both full-time mothers and mothers who work full-time because she herself has experienced both. Martha takes great pride in referring to herself as a "professional mother," and one of her favorite quips when someone voices a concern about her having eight children in an already populated world is: "The world needs my children."

Martha and Dr. Bill have in the past been guests on many television shows including 20/20, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, CNN, The Today Show, Dateline, The Dr. Phil Show, and The Doctors. Martha and Dr. Bill are best known for their Sears Parenting Library published by Little, Brown and Company: The Healthy Pregnancy Book, The Birth Book, The Baby Book, The Attachment Parenting Book, The Discipline Book, The Breastfeeding Book, The Fussy Baby Book, The Family Nutrition Book, The Premature Baby Book, The Baby Sleep Book, The A.D.D. Book, and The Healthiest Kid In The Neighborhood. She has also authored, for Harvard Common Press, 25 Things Every New Mother Should Know.

Karen Walant, PhD

Psychotherapist & Author

Dr. Walant is an expert on attachment and intimacy. She wrote one of the first books for psychotherapists that integrated attachment theory into the treatment process, entitled Creating the Capacity for Attachment. In her groundbreaking book, Dr. Walant defined the concept of normative abuse as "parenting practices that uphold current cultural norms but, when viewed from a later era, can be seen as unempathic and unresponsive to children." She believes that the principles of Attachment Parenting are our society's best hope at shifting from cultural norms that are no longer in our children's best interests.

Dr. Walant is a lecturer in the areas of attachment research and neuroscience, empathy, and parenting, and is a popular speaker in both her local community and at major conferences, such as Harvard University's Addictions Seminar. She has been in private practice for over 20 years and lives with her husband and their 3 teenage children in Ridgefield, Connecticut. She is a board-certified psychotherapist and an Advisory Board member of Attachment Parenting International.

Art Yuen

API's Board of Directors

Art Yuen is API's Knowledge Coordinator and an API accredited leader of API NYC. She holds a degree in finance-accounting and practiced business analysis and research in the financial industry before shifting her focus to the social sciences and parenting fields.  Art serves API in business roles and is increasingly involved in initiatives to develop, compile and disseminate API’s research base.  She lives in NYC with her husband and two children.

Stephen Knight, JD

Darcia Narvaez

Professor of Psychology at The University of Notre Dame

Darcia Narvaez is Professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame. She is an active blogger at Psychology Today (“Moral Landscapes”) and frequently blogs about parenting.  She often writes about the importance of evolved parenting practices that match up with attachment parenting: Primal Parenting/Stone-Aged Parenting/Evolutionary Parenting/ Paleo Parenting. These terms refer to the evolved nest for young children that matches up with their maturational schedules: soothing perinatal experiences, extensive infant-initiated breastfeeding, constant touch, caregiver responsiveness, free play, multiple adult caregivers and extensive positive social support. She brings together scholars from across disciplines for symposia and joint writing projects. She studies and writes about the effects of early life experience on moral development. Her 2014 book is Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom.

She is a leader in the field of moral development scholarship with ten academic books, several curriculum books and over 100 articles and chapters. See her webpage.

She is a Latina who grew up living in different Spanish-speaking countries but with Minnesota as a home base. In prior careers she was a church musician (organist, choir director), classroom and private music teacher (Brent International School in Baguio City, Philippines; King of Kings School in Roseville, Minnesota), middle school Spanish teacher (at The Blake School in Hopkins, Minnesota), and business owner. She also earned a master of divinity degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, and is a published poet. 

© 1994-2014 Attachment Parenting International. All Rights Reserved. API is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 

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