Dr. David Cross Announces Retirement

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!”











7 Responses to “Dr. David Cross Announces Retirement”

  1. Michelle

    Congratulations and thank you
    Dr. Cross!!
    Welcome Dr. Knight!
    Our family is blessed beyond measure because of TBRI!
    We have three boys all from hard places. Our youngest are just entering the teen years and it seems like a whole new world.
    We were blessed to attend a Hope for the Journey Family Camp this summer! Exceeded every expectation!! The boys buddies were TCU / KPICD graduates … it was like meeting celebrities 🙂
    Enjoy retirement!
    We are forever grateful!
    -Michelle (STL MO)

  2. Robert Marshall

    Congratulations Dr. Cross! Thank you for helping so many help so many kiddos! TBRI is life changing!

  3. Trey Asbury

    All the best to you Dr. Cross! So much more than a mentor, and I appreciate everything you’ve done for me personally and professionally. Also congrats to Danica!

  4. Ursula Elisara

    Talofa Dr. David Cross (aka friend & fanau/whanau),
    There are no words that will ever be adequate to express how much alofa/aroha (love) we feel towards you personally and your amazing team at the KP-ICD. Aoteroa (New Zealand) is a far better place because you lived and were brave enough to follow your convictions. I hope that one last trip to our wild country is on the cards before you hang up your hat .
    Forever and eternally grateful❣️❣️❣️
    Ursula & George Elisara
    CEO, Foster & Adoptive Parents

  5. Heather Pauly

    Dr. Cross,
    Congratulations on your retirement. I had the honor and privilege of learning about TBRI and putting to use in my years as a foster parent, in community management for income restricted homes and have now entered back into the classroom for behavior support. It is my deep desire to bring TBRI into our school and district as a whole.

    Thank you for your dedication, servant heart and leadership for decades.

    Blessings to you!
    Heather Pauly

  6. Athar Alatas

    All the best to you Dr. Cross! So much more than a mentor, and I appreciate everything you’ve done for me personally and professionally

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>