Dr. David Cross, co-founder and Rees-Jones Director of the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development (KPICD), has announced his retirement.
Dr. Cross began his career with TCU’s Department of Psychology in 1986, and co-founded the Institute of Child Development with Dr. Karyn Purvis in 2008. Purvis and Cross went on to develop Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®), an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. Dr. Cross has served as Rees-Jones Director of the Institute, later renamed for Dr. Purvis, since 2016 and will retire on December 30, 2022.
Under his leadership, the KPICD has expanded to create trauma-informed systems of care in the United States and around the world. TBRI Practitioners now represent over 50 countries, and there are currently system-level TBRI implementation projects in 22 states and 24 countries.
Upon Dr. Cross’s retirement, Dr. Danica Knight, KPICD Associate Director of Research, will assume the role as Rees-Jones Director of the Institute. Before joining the KPICD in 2019, Dr. Knight served as a Research Scientist at the Institute of Behavioral Research at TCU. In her time at the Purvis Institute, Danica has made significant contributions in adapting TBRI for justice contexts as well as expanding the evidence base for TBRI®.
Dr. Knight’s connection to the Purvis Institute goes beyond research and academics. As a graduate student at TCU, Dr. Knight first knew Dr. Cross as her mentor. “So much of who I am today is because of David Cross’ mentorship over the past 30+ years,” says Knight. “He has inspired me to think deeply about relationships and how they shape children’s development. Additionally, he has taught me the power of objectivity, observation, and considering multiple perspectives as I try to understand children’s, families’, and even colleagues’ needs.”
Knight has Cross’s full support as he transitions into retirement. Cross says, “Danica’s experience, skill set, and commitment to the KPICD’s research, education, and outreach initiatives will serve the KPICD well.”
Knight credits Cross’s mentoring and example of leadership as preparation for stepping into the directorship. “He’s shown me what true servant leadership really looks like. I consider it a rare gift to have him as a mentor throughout my journey, and it brings me joy to know that his mentorship will continue for years to come!”