National Staff

The Executive Team is the core of the organization helping to support over 5,000 members of the American Art Therapy Association and the important work of hundreds of volunteers serving on its Board and Committees.

The team is headed by our Executive Director, Cynthia Woodruff. Ms. Woodruff brings with her 20 years of experience in the corporate world, primarily in marketing and communications positions in the ABC and CBS radio networks. Then in 2007, she made a values-driven move into the nonprofit arena, holding positions of leadership in two different organizations, Rebuilding Together, Inc. and SOS Children’s Villages – USA. In these venues, she was extremely successful in fundraising, strategic growth, developing partnerships with corporations, and strategic planning.

Jason Besser serves as our Policy & Professional Affairs Associate. He works part-time to further fuel AATA’s momentum and meet the organization’s mission to advocate for expansion of access to professional art therapists and lead the nation in the advancement of art therapy as a regulated mental health and human services profession.

Christina Easterly is our Administrative Assistant. She is responsible for the daily operations of the national office and provides key support for major program areas including the Annual Conference and education. Often the first line of contact for customer service inquiries, Christina additionally provides support to the Board of Directors and works closely with several committees.


Barbara Florence is our Director, Events & Education has more than 25 years in nonprofit and association management experience in corporate business development, membership, marketing, human resources, professional and career development, training, conference and meeting planning. She is responsible for the Annual Conference, education & professional development disciplines for the Association. She previously worked for Gifts In Kind International and the United Way of America.

Kat Michel is our Coordinator, Membership and Marketing. She is responsible for supporting membership renewal and outreach initiatives, as well as website upkeep. Kat is also responsible for managing advertising and digital communications with members and the public through our content distribution platform, 3BLMedia, and Art Therapy Today. In 2015, she graduated with her Master’s degree in Art Therapy from The George Washington University.

Dean Sagar, Public Policy Advisor. Dean’s career includes work on the federal, state and community level. He has over twenty years experience with federal policy as legislative staff for three Members of Congress and as a senior analyst with the Financial Services Committee and the Small Business Committee of the US House of Representatives. He has also managed federal and state advocacy and grassroots initiatives as a government affairs director for AARP, the National Credit Union Association and the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging.