Meet Our Dean

Roni Cohen Leiderman, Ph.D. is an educator, author, speaker and consultant in the fields of child development, family relationships, work/family issues, parenting, and autism. She currently serves as the Dean of the Mailman Segal Center for Human Development at Nova Southeastern University (NSU). Under her leadership, the center has grown to be one of the nation’s largest multidisciplinary demonstration and professional training center in the field.

Dr. Roni Leiderman
Dr. Roni Leiderman
Dr. Leiderman earned a Bachelor of Science in Education, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Boston University; a Master of Science in Education from Lesley College; and a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from NSU. She serves as a clinical professor in NSU's Health Professions Division; College of Osteopathic Medicine's Department of Pediatrics and is a visiting faculty member for NSU's Department of Pediatric Dentistry in the College of Dental Medicine. Dr. Leiderman is a licensed Supreme Court Family Mediator for the State of Florida.

As a regularly featured expert in the local and national media she has had numerous appearances on television and radio news shows and in educational videos and DVD's. Dr. Leiderman appeared on NBC's Today Show as a child development expert, was an on-air expert and consultant for the Teach More/Love More video series with Dr. T. Berry Brazelton; contributed to the Rob Reiner produced I Am Your Child series for parents of children with special needs; and developed and co-wrote the Public Television Series show Express Yourself for which she received the prestigious Crystal Award of Excellence for Children's Programming.

Dr. Leiderman is the co-author of Let's Play Together: Playful Parenting Games and Activities for Nurturing Your Child's Development and of the book series that has sold over a million copies which includes Baby Play, 365 Activities You and Your Baby will Love, 365 Activities You and Your Toddler Will Love, 365 Activities You and Your Child Will Love: Fun Ideas for Your Preschooler's Growing Mind!, The Parent's Guide to Play: 170 Activities to Stimulate Imaginations, Expand Vocabularies, Build Skills and More, andPlay and Learn: 1001 Fun Activities for Your Baby and Child. She is alsothe associate author of In Time and with Love: Caring for the Special Needs Baby and a contributing editor to Beyond the Golden Rule, published in association with the Southern Poverty Law Center. Dr. Leiderman has written monthly parenting columns for South Florida Parenting Magazine, a publication of the Tribune Company, and contributes regularly to national periodicals and online publications.

A sought after expert, Dr. Leiderman is the lead advisor and on air professional for the Obesity Education Campaign series, funded through a grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health. She is also a member of the Expert Advisory Board for the Early Moments Matter Toolkit of the Relationship Research Institute, is on the Advisory Board for Children's Health Magazine, and participates as a member of the Medical Advisory Board for BabyCenter.com, a Johnson & Johnson-owned company. She is a featured speaker at professional conferences and most recently was a keynote speaker at the Inclusive and Supportive Education Congress Conference (ISEC) held at Queen's University in Belfast, Ireland.  Dr. Leiderman has completed the Harvard University Institute for Management and Leadership in Education program through their Graduate School of Education.

Dr. Leiderman's interest in persons with diminished vision led to her establishing Friends of Vision for the National Keratoconus Foundation and she currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Discovery Eye Foundation. Dr. Leiderman has served on the Board of Directors of the Jack and Jill Children's Center for which she was the program committee chairperson, the Unicorn Children's Foundation for children with learning, communication and neuro-developmental disorders, the United Way's Allocation Committee, the National Parenting Education Network, and was a co-founder and a former board member of Gilda's Club South Florida, an organization dedicated to providing free psychosocial support to persons experiencing cancer and their families and friends.

Recognized by leading organizations dedicated to children and families, Dr. Leiderman received the Weitzmann Foundation's Woman of Vision Award for Science and Research; the Price Waterhouse and South Florida Magazine's Up and Comer's Award in education, and was the recipient of the Arnold Melnick Child Advocate Award.