Perkins Hires Research and Innovation Director

Perkins announces the appointment of Kathleen J. Savage Mills, Ph.D., LICSW as its Director of Research and Innovation. Dr. Mills brings over twenty years of experience in the fields of child welfare, domestic violence, and early childhood mental health to Perkins. In her new role, Dr. Mills will further expand Perkins’ capability to evaluate its programming and to translate outcomes into quality and service improvements, as outlined in Perkins’ strategic plan. A member of the executive team, Mills will also support the departments of Quality and Performance Improvement and Institutional Advancement.

Kathleen J. Savage Mills, Ph.D., LICSW

Mills began her social work career as a front-line staff member at a Boston-area group home and therapist at a residential/day school serving adolescents with social and emotional challenges. Her career has encompassed clinical, research and evaluation, program management, training, and development roles at distinguished organizations such as Jewish Family & Children’s Service, MA Children’s Mental Health Campaign, and Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. She has educated others regarding childhood exposure to domestic violence at settings such as Boston University’s School of Public Health, University of British Columbia Vancouver, and the Children’s Trust and MA Home Visiting Initiative. Dr. Mills received her PhD from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, MSW from Simmons College, and BA from the University of New Hampshire.

“I feel fortunate to be part of an organization that values program evaluation and is eager to examine what they do well, in addition to what they can work to improve. It’s this growth-oriented mindset that attracted me to Perkins,” Mills said. “My diverse work experiences have allowed me to observe, explore, and learn about the challenges facing clients, families, and staff from a variety of different angles.  I look forward to joining the Perkins’ team and supporting their important work.”

Perkins President and CEO Dr. Michael W. Ames said, “Dr. Mills’ experience combines direct service, program leadership, and research and evaluation, which makes her a perfect fit for this newly created position. She brings a unique perspective that will not only help us understand and interpret our outcomes, but which will also help us implement new strategies and innovative practices. It’s an exciting time at Perkins and we are thrilled to have Dr. Mills join our team.”