Jennifer Harris, Ph.D., LMFT, BCBA-D
Founder & Chairperson
Dr. Harris began her career in behavior analysis in 1990 while studying at UCLA, working under the direction of Dr. Ivar Lovaas at the Clinic for the Behavioral Treatment of Children. In 1995, Dr. Harris earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy at Pepperdine University and continued her education, earning a doctorate in 2003 in Educational Psychology from USC. In 2005, Dr. Harris became a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst – Doctorate (BCBA-D) and established FirstSteps for Kids, Inc.
In addition to her work at FirstSteps, in 2016, Dr. Harris partnered with FirstSteps Director of Research and Development, Dr. Jonathan Tarbox, to co-found the Masters of Science in ABA Program at USC. As faculty, she has taught graduate courses including Ethics for Behavior Analysts and Principles of Behavior Analysis, and an undergraduate seminar course, Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Dr. Harris recently completed her third elected term on the Board of Directors for the California Association for Behavior Analysis (CalABA) as President Elect of the Association. Knowing that early intervention is the key to achieving best outcomes, Dr. Harris is passionate about ensuring that all children in need have access to high quality behavior analytic treatment services and views quality education and ongoing support of our growing workforce to be the key to achieving this objective.
Dr. Harris lives with her husband in the South Bay and has two college-aged children. She loves dogs, the outdoors, and skiing & snowboarding with her family in Lake Tahoe.