B.A. Yale University, magna cum laude; JD, Georgetown University Law Center. Mary Bissell is a partner at ChildFocus, a national child welfare policy and legislative consulting firm. Professor Bissell is a former fellow at the New America Foundation, a nonpartisan public policy institute in Washington, DC. Professor Bissell began her career as Equal Justice Fellow at the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia where she litigated child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, adoption, child custody, housing, public benefits and Social Security cases. While at Legal Aid, she also founded the DC Kinship Care Coalition, Inc., a local non-profit organization.

Between 1997 and 2000, Professor Bissell was a Congressional Heinz Fellow and Legislative Assistant in the Office of John D. Rockefeller, IV. Following her time on the Hill, she worked for four years as a senior staff attorney and lobbyist in the child welfare and mental health division at the Children’s Defense Fund. Professor Bissell has published extensively in a broad range of publications including The Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Miami Herald, and the Philadelphia Enquirer. She is a member of the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, and Supreme Court Bars. She is also a board member of the Washington Council of Lawyers and sits on the editorial review board of Child Welfare, a national child welfare policy journal.