Our Leadership

This is just a small sample of the individuals that help lead the Safe Families for Children movement. Their work supplements the hard work done on the local level at Safe Families chapters across the country.

Dr. David Anderson

Founder & Executive Director

Safe Families founder, Dr. David Anderson, is a licensed clinical psychologist with over 20 years of experience in adolescent psychology. He has served as the Executive Director of since its founding in 2003.

Dave has experience in performing forensic clinical evaluations, providing administrative/clinical oversight to a 40-bed residential facility and foster care program, an 18-bed inpatient unit, professional foster homes, a counseling center, and a respite program. He has also taught at Wheaton College in the doctoral program in Clinical Psychology (Parenting Evaluation Course), Trinity International University in undergraduate and graduate programs, and the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology.


Dr. Karen Bergstrom

National Regional Director: Western States

Dr. Karen Bergstrom is a passionate thought leader. She brings over 30 years of experience as a nonprofit executive. Over the past decade, she has helped develop the Safe Families movement across the West Coast.

Though her most important role is co-parenting her four adult children with her husband Rick. Karen received her Bachelors of Science in Human Services from California State Fullerton (1979) and her Doctorate in Psychology from California Graduate Institute in Westwood, California (1993).

Ryan Mobley

Alliance National Director

Ryan serves as the Director for Church Engagement and Movement Strategy. He also is the Director of our Central & Southern Illinois chapters. Ryan has been in full-time church ministry most of his life working with students, young adults, worship, and church planting. Ryan has specialized in faith-based nonprofit leadership the last number of years, and is passionate regarding helping local churches live out the Gospel in their communities. He and his wife Dawn, along with their five children, live and serve in Springfield, IL.

Jim Whitfield

IT Director

Jim Whitfield, currently serves on the National Leadership Team and is National Director of Technology Services for Safe Families. Previously he guided the Chicago Chapter of Safe Families for a number of years and oversaw the development of the SF Alliance Network and international chapter startups in the almost 10 years he has been with Safe Families. Previously he served in senior executive technology positions with AB Health Systems (CTO Team), Leo Burnett Company (CTO) and Harris Bank/Bank of Montreal respectively (Strategic Technology Group). In addition to having guided the technology operations of these multinational organizations, he has been actively involved in the areas of compassion and justice ranging from working with refugees and OVCs in UN Refugee Camps, to 20 years of foster parenting and adoption, to helping pilot the Safe Families ministry at his multi-site church. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration with a Systems Concentration from Taylor University. He has completed graduate studies in Talent Management and Development.

Abel Ortiz

Director of Program Development and Evaluation

Abel has an extensive background in serving children and families in crisis. He has ran various child welfare programs such as Annie E. Casey’s Family to Family program, oversaw and ran Utah’s child welfare system, and worked as Governor Perdue’s policy director for human services. Prior coming to Safe Families he did small business development in Eastern Europe, Asia, Middle East and North African, he is a licensed therapist, and graduated with a social work and law degree.