About Root Cause

Abby Alexanian

Manager, Advisory Services

Abby Alexanian is a manager at Root Cause and brings more than five years of experience as a practitioner and researcher in the nonprofit and public sectors. Her previous work has focused on providing crisis intervention services, reducing and preventing adversities in early childhood, violence prevention, and creating equitable, collaborative systems of support for children and families experiencing trauma, poverty, and housing instability.

Before joining Root Cause, Abby worked as the children’s advocate and case manager in a domestic violence shelter in Ann Arbor, MI, where she designed and implemented a new children’s program with the goal of reducing toxic stress and building child and family resilience. As a summer fellow at The Boston Foundation in 2015, Abby researched and analyzed the landscape of early childhood programs in Boston aimed at supporting young children's social and emotional wellbeing, and developed a report with her findings and recommendations for The Foundation's strategic planning process. Abby was also a consultant to Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation, where she and her fellow MBA consulting team members developed a logic model and a customized strategy for evaluating health and wellness program outcomes. Her past work also includes researching and writing a policy brief with recommendations for building trauma-informed practices into early care and education settings in Massachusetts, a donor guide for high-impact investment in domestic violence programs, and an op-ed in the Huffington Post calling for a trauma-informed approach to philanthropic giving.


Why do you do what you do?

Because I believe each of us has a role to play in making our systems and policies work better for the individuals, children, families, and communities facing the steepest barriers to stability, equity, and wellbeing. The stakes are high, but I believe the social sector is up to the challenge.


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  • Master in Public Policy and MBA in Nonprofit Management, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University; BA in International Studies, Vassar College

Favorite Books, movies, music

  • Elif Shafak, Jhumpa Lahiri, Alison Bechdel; Harry Potter, young adult fiction


  • Reading, walking my dog, kickboxing, writing, traveling, playing board games