Meet The Trusted Team Behind the System

In 2015, Heather Rouse and Cassandra Dorius came together to leverage their combined three decades of experience in education, human services, public health, and integrated data systems.
They brought together leaders from across Iowa’s departments serving young children and their families, secured training and technical assistance to develop Iowa’s model and governance structure, and obtained funding to stand up the system and use it to demonstrate value for informing policy and program improvement. I2D2 was born.
In collaboration with strong Early Childhood Iowa partners spanning diverse systems in the state, this partnership has paved the way for Iowa success. In the words of former ECI Board Chair, the tandem of Rouse and Dorius brings a “palpable level of commitment, a deep understanding of a very complicated system, and a passionate and motivating approach” to the work, which has increased the national visibility of the state of Iowa and Iowa State University as leaders in the use of administrative data systems to inform evidence-based decision making.
In 2019, the dynamic duo was invited to share the successful development of I2D2 at the National Academy of Sciences Committee on National Statistics. With a panel of experts deliberating the value of administrative data, conversations included considerations of how state and municipal integrated data systems could inform national statistical approaches.

Meet our Leaders

Heather Rouse

Heather Rouse


Cassandra Dorius

Cass Dorius



Todd Abraham

Assistant Director of Data and Analytics

Todd joined the I2D2 team in 2019 with backgrounds in data management, quantitative research methodology, and program evaluation. He currently co-leads design and implementation of data processing protocols, data integration and record linkage algorithms, and project analysis planning. His research interests focus on the interplay between individual, family, and contextual factors as influences on child developmental trajectories.

Giorgi Chighladze

Data Scientist

Before joining the I2D2 team as a data scientist in 2021, Gio worked as a data manager and analyst for multi-institutional cross-disciplinary projects involving more than dozen land-grant universities across the Midwest, government institutions and state organizations. Over six years he has curated data from agricultural and environmental studies, and has published two datasets in the National Agricultural Library.

Taylor Nagle


Taylor joined the I2D2 team in early 2023 as a Program Coordinator. She graduated from the University of Iowa in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Political Science. Her career since graduation has centered around public health research, advocacy, policy, and non-profit management. At I2D2, Taylor will assist with project coordination and oversight to deliver results for stakeholders in the state of Iowa.

Cora Herbkersman


Cora joined the I2D2 team in 2022 as a data analyst. Originally from Indiana, she came to Iowa State University in 2019 as a graduate student in the department of Rural Sociology. She is currently finishing her MS thesis using data from the Iowa Small Towns Poll. Her research interests included quantitative analysis, small towns, rural religion, and quality of life in rural areas. 

Laura Betancur

Research Associate

Laura Betancur received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2020. Her research aims to increase understanding of how the context of children and families shape their wellbeing, focusing on disadvantaged populations in the U.S. and in low- and middle-income countries. In January of 2021, she joined the ECI Longitudinal Study where researches the relationship between families’ utilization patterns of early childhood education services and child developmental outcomes.