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, CEIM

API Founder & Director Emeritus

Lysa Parker (Lisa) received both her bachelor’s in education and her master’s degree in Human Environmental Sciences specializing in human development and family studies. She earned her designation of Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) from the National Council on Family Relations in 2004 and was the 2014 president for the Southeast Council on Family Relations. Lysa is also a Certified Educator of Infant Massage (CEIM). 


As cofounder of Attachment Parenting International (API), a nonprofit parent education & support organization, she served as the executive director for thirteen years. Prior to her involvement with API, she was a special education teacher helping children with multiple handicaps and learning difficulties for twenty years.


Lysa has dedicated her life to improving the way children are treated and is a recognized authority on parenting. She is the coauthor of a new book titled Attached at the Heart: Eight Proven Parenting Principles for Raising Connected and Compassionate Children (HCI, 2013) and the co-developer of a new curriculum based on her book. The first edition of Attached at the Heart won the 2009 Book of the Year Gold award from Foreword Magazine. She is a frequent guest on national, international, and local radio and TV programs. In 2014 Lysa was a presenter at a local TEDx event. Currently Lysa is a writer, speaker and parenting consultant in private practice at  She is the mother of two grown sons, a stepdaughter and is the grandmother of four grandchildren and lives with her husband in the Huntsville, Alabama area.            

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 La Leche League International Board of Directors and is still with the LLLI Alumnae Association Council. She recently joined the Board of Directors for Education Equals Hope, providing for the education of children in desperate and difficult places – Ecuador, Haiti and Uganda. She has served on numerous other state and national 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. Janet spends as much time as she can with her four children (ages 33 – 39), two daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren.  She lives in Columbia, South Carolina. She recently retired from the USC School of Medicine in the SC Assistive Technology Program, where she specialized in information technology accessibility, conference planning, equipment reutilization and public relations. She still consults with agencies and organizations about web and IT accessibility and usability. She manages a web testers program, using people who use assistive technology in the evaluation of web sites for accessibility and usability.

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. Karen B. Walant is the author of the book, Creating the Capacity for Attachment: Treating Addictions and the Alienated Self. Now in its fourth printing, this book has helped lead the way in the recent explosion of interest in attachment and attachment-based treatment. A pioneer in the application of attachment principles to addiction and spirituality, Walant most recently returned for a second engagement to speak at the Harvard Medical School Treating the Addictions Conference, receiving one of the highest speaker ratings.

Previously, she has been the keynote speaker for MetroHealth Hospital in Cleveland Ohio, in a conference entitled Disconnected in Today’s World: Loneliness, Addiction, and Attachment Disorder. She has led all-day clinical workshops on attachment and addiction, such as a full-day sponsored by the Marriage and Family Therapists Association in Amarillo, Texas. She has also spoken at Grand Rounds at Four Winds Hospital-Katonah, NY on topics related to attachment and psychotherapy.

Over the years, Walant has presented at numerous organizations including: The Rockland County New York Psychological Association, The Family and Children’s Aid of Greater Norwalk, CT, The Cincinnati Center for Self Psychology, The Georgia Psychological Association, St. John’s Episcopal Church Parenting Series in North Salem, NY, and The New York Council on Alcoholism. She has developed a parenting series entitled Connection, Cooperation and Communication, and speaks with parents at both public and private schools on issues of attachment, empathy, and emotional intelligence. She is a frequent speaker at The Family University at John Barlow High School and Ridgefield High School. She has taught at New York University School of Social Work and is a supervisor for private practitioners in the wider New York Metropolitan area.Walant is a Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Worker with a Ph.D. from New York University in Social Work.

She served nearly 20 years on the Advisory Board of Attachment Parenting International and is a contributor to their newsletter. She is the current President of the Parents’ Association and a Board of Trustee member at The Harvey School, and started the HarveySpeaks program, a unique Family University-style program adapted to the needs of the school. She maintains a private practice in Ridgefield, CT where she lives with her husband and their teen-age fraternal twin sons. Their daughter, Anna, is rising senior at Pratt Institute, studying Industrial Design, and their sons will graduate from Harvey in 2013. William will be attending Hamilton College in the fall, and Benjamin will attend Rhode Island School of Design.

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. 

Margaret Feierabend

Community Leader and Advocate for Children and Families

With a Masters Degree in Community Health Education, a husband who is a physicianteacher of Family Medicine, Margaret began her community volunteer work in her home of Bristol Tennessee teaching childbirth and parenting classes. Currently she serves on Bristol Tennessee City Council (16 Years), and actively promotes building assets with families, children and youth. Her community accomplishments include being part of establishing several new programs and organizations serving the Bristol area. Bristol has the honor of being identified as one of America's Promise's 100 Best Communities for Children and Youth. 

Margaret is proud of and grateful for her three loving and caring children to whom she is very attached and she is excited about her new role as grandparent of twins.

Patti Lewis

Parenting and Attachment Support

Patti Hope Lewis brings accounting, event planning and Board experience to API, includingfive years on the Board of AnotherLook. She has many years of experience as a La Leche League International (LLLI) Leader in Atlanta, Georgia, where she's served as a parenting and attachment support to many parents in the areas of adoption and special needs. As the entrepreneur of her bookkeeping company, PJ Balances, and the Treasurer of the LLL Alumnae Association, she offers API unique experience. API can also benefit from her expertise as the CFO for Aspen Productions, a full service event company. Patti has three sons: Nicholas, 27; Kevin 24; Harrison, 18. She also enjoys travel, hiking, reading, gardening, ATV riding on dirt tracks and driving her Mazda Miata convertible.

© 1994-2015 Attachment Parenting International. All Rights Reserved. API is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 

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