Dr. David Willis

Senior Fellow

Contact Details

Senior Fellow


Dr. Willis leads CSSP’s national initiative to advance early relational health for child health and communities. A Boarded, Developmental-Behavioral pediatrician, he was a clinician in Oregon for more than 30 years with a practice focused on early childhood development and family therapy. Currently, he is the Co-Chair of the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s Forum on Children’s Wellbeing and was the previous first Executive Director of the Perigee Fund, a Seattle-based philanthropy. From 2012-2018, he served as Director of the Division of Home Visiting and Early Childhood Services at the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Maternal Child Health Bureau, in Washington DC, and continues to be thought leader in home visiting and early childhood systems.

During his career, Dr. Willis has also been a Harris Mid-Career Fellow with childhood development nonprofit ZERO TO THREE; the president of the Oregon Pediatric Society; an executive member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Section on Early Education and Child Care; and chair of the AAP’s Board’s Early Brain & Child Development Strategic Initiative. He has been a national advisor on early childhood policy, and an advocate for better integration between child healthcare and other early childhood systems in communities.

A long-term champion for transforming child healthcare  to better address early relational health and social-emotional well-being, Dr. Willis counts as his greatest relational health achievement the joy he and his wife share with his two married sons and their young families who have each blessed them with grandchildren —LucyMae and Sam in Camas, WA and Clara Sophia, in San Antonio, TX.


Thomas Jefferson Medical School
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
MD, 1976

Job History

Center for the Study of Social Policy
Senior Fellow
Washington, DC, United States