Gina Hijjawi, PhD, joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) as a senior program officer, Research-Evaluation-Learning, in April 2018. With her deep commitment to bridging systemic gaps in children’s health and social services, she values “the opportunity to advance understanding of how child and family serving systems, environments, and policies can support the healthy development and well-being of all children, especially children and families at high risk of falling through the crack when in need of services across different systems.”
Hijjawi joined RWJF from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) where she served as director for the Health and Wellbeing Across Child and Family Serving Systems practice area. As a practice area director, she led a team of 75+ staff ensuring annual growth and revenue targets. The portfolio of research, evaluation, and technical assistance projects focused on youth violence prevention, family homelessness, trauma informed care, and strengthening the capacity of systems such as children’s systems of care, public health, child welfare, education, and juvenile justice to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and their families.
Prior to joining AIR, Hijjawi specialized in substance abuse prevention, serving as a policy analyst in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy from 2011-2012 in the Office of Demand Reduction; as deputy director of research at the Partnership for a Drug-Free America; and as a research associate for the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.
Upon earning her PhD in Community Psychology, she was a Science Policy Fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) at the National Institute on Drug Abuse in the Prevention Research Branch. Hiijawi earned her BA in psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago; her MA in community counseling from Loyola University; and her PhD in psychology from the University of Virginia.
A native of Chicago, she enjoys cooking, watching movies, and spending time with her family.