Akira Gutierrez Renzulli, senior research associate and technical assistance (TA) provider, brings 20 years’ experience promoting youth development. She specializes in youth mental health, social and emotional learning (SEL), early childhood well-being, and trauma-informed practices, especially for children and families in marginalized communities. Her research advances knowledge of socioecological approaches to fostering students’ sense of belonging and mental health promotion in schools.

As part of the EDC Solutions team, Gutierrez collaborates with educators and districts to create supportive learning environments. She also contributes her expertise to EDC’s Preventing Youth Suicide Initiative, Massachusetts Social, Emotional, and Behavior Academy, and Home Visiting Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network.

Previously, as a child mental health provider, Gutierrez conducted research on SEL and development, resilience, and student well-being, and she published extensively, including mindfulness research featured in U.S. News & World Report.

Gutierrez holds an MS in Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology from Florida International University, where she is completing her PhD in Psychology, and an MA in Applied Child Development from Tufts University. She is fluent in English and Spanish.