W. Carl Sumi, Sr. Education Researcher, Center for Education and Human Services | SRI International

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W. Carl Sumi

Senior Education Researcher, Center for Learning and Development

W. Carl Sumi, Ph.D., conducts research to address emotional and behavioral disabilities among children and youth. He is the co-principal investigator of a randomized trial investigating the Cognitive Behavior Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) program being conducted in the San Francisco Unified School District. Sumi also is the co-principal investigator of a randomized trial investigating the impact of the Check & Connect student engagement/dropout prevention program in the San Jose Unified School District.

Previously, Sumi was co-principal investigator of the National Effectiveness Study of First Step to Success, a large-scale randomized trial of the First Step to Success intervention and co-director of the National Behavior Research Coordination Center. Sumi also participated in the development of the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) practice guide Reducing Behavior Problems in the Elementary School Classroom, he is a certified reviewer for the WWC, and served as one of the content experts for the WWC Children with Emotional Disturbance Topic Review.

Sumi has worked with families and children with emotional and behavioral disabilities in a variety of capacities for more than 25 years, from direct service in the classroom to research and statewide policy development in the fields of education and mental health. He is the author or coauthor of numerous articles, monographs, and presentations on research and evaluation in systems of care, intervention strategies, and long-term outcomes for children with severe emotional and behavioral disturbances.

Before joining SRI, Sumi was the behavior specialist for the State of Hawaii, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division. His primary responsibilities included providing statewide consultation and training on evidence-based interventions, positive behavior interventions and supports, functional behavioral assessments, and individualized behavior intervention plans to education and mental health professionals who provided a wide range of services for families and children with emotional and behavioral disabilities.

Sumi received his Ph.D. in special education from the University of South Florida, Tampa, while working at the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute.

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W. Carl Sumi