Karli J. Keator, MPH

Karli J. Keator, M.P.H. is Director of the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice (NCMHJJ) and Program Area Director at Policy Research Associates (PRA) for children’s behavioral health, trauma, and juvenile justice initiatives. Since joining PRA in 2006, Ms. Keator has participated in a variety of research and policy development and implementation initiatives. Specific areas of interest include activities that support development of evidence-informed public policy to:

  • identify and respond to the mental health, substance use, and traumatic stress related needs among children and adolescents in contact with the juvenile justice system;
  • reduce behavioral healthcare disparities among children and adolescents, in particular American Indian youth; and,
  • address issues related to inadequate access to and availability of behavioral health care through policies that integrate and maximize use of federal and state funds, Medicaid, private insurance, and other private resources.

Currently, Ms. Keator is the project director on an effort funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to test the use of the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment model in juvenile justice settings, and the policy lead on the Defending Childhood American Indian/Alaska Native Policy Initiative. She is also the co-principal investigator on two research initiatives, one of which seeks to develop and test a trauma-informed decision protocol for juvenile justice practitioners with funding from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the second which aims to test interventions that keep kids with behavioral health and trauma needs in school and out of the juvenile justice system with funding from the National Institute for Justice.

Ms. Keator received her Master of Public Health, with a focus in Social Behavior and Community Health, from the University at Albany’s School of Public Health.