The Leadership Team – Circle of Security International

Circle of Security Leadership Team

The Leadership Team


Gretchen Cook
Director of Operations

Gretchen joined COSI in January 2011 as our Program Manager. She graduated from the University of Washington with Bachelor degrees in both Design Studies and Women's Studies. She completed her MBA from Whitworth University to help COSI grow. She helps keep the big picture goals in motion to allow COSI to grow in a manageable way. Things have changed dramatically at COSI since 2011; as demand for trainings has increased so has the need to grow our office staff, keeping Gretchen on her toes!

When she is not working Gretchen enjoys quiet weekends at home with her husband and daughters. She has a zeal for the crafty/handmade side of life, and gets to exercise her creative brain through modern quilting and longarming, or making something fabulous in the kitchen.



Deidre Quinlan
Project and Professional Development Director

As part of the second generation of COSI Leadership, Deidre’s daily stewardship focuses on the fidelity and the future of Circle of Security International, considering personal impact, professional development, and global relevance. Like many providers, learning about Circle of Security began a journey of self-discovery for Deidre, who first studied COS in 2007 at the University of Minnesota Infant Mental Health Program. She continued to deepen her understanding of COS in both her personal and professional life journeys, including years of clinical supervision with the COS originators; in 2012, she started working for COSI on special projects, leading several including Fidelity Coaching model, Focus on Facilitators, and the COSP Classroom Approach. She’s currently at work on the Path to Secure Hands Professional Learning Series. Deidre provides international training, clinical supervision, coaching, and consultation with professionals around the world.

A licensed clinical social worker and MN endorsed Infant Mental Health Specialist, Deidre is particularly interested in resilience and the ability of the developing person to persevere and overcome childhood risks and adversities. She has worked in a variety of settings including residential treatment, group homes, schools, day treatment, childcare centers, after school programs, and out-patient clinics. For more than 20 years, Deidre focused her clinical work on adolescent parents and their children, using a relationship focus on developmental repair to inform her work.

Deidre spends quiet days working from home on a hobby farm in Minnesota on the North Shore of Lake Superior with her husband, mother-in-law, some horses, chickens, rabbits, a few cats, and sometimes a dog. She’s the mother of three adult children who are off on grand adventures. As her work takes her to far off places, Deidre hopes to ride horses with our COSI friends all around the world.



Neil Boris
Research Liaison and Medical Director

Neil was an early adopter of the COS model, connecting with Glen, Kent and Bert in the late 1990's. He began working with the intensive therapy model in 2003 and, once COS-Parenting came on the scene, with that program as well. He started training in 2014, joined COSI part time in 2017 and took his current position at the start of 2018. He is the first point of contact for those interested in conducting research on any of the COS models and helped develop the Fidelity Coaching pathway. Beyond research support and Fidelity Coaching, Neil is engaged with many colleagues around the world on projects from adding to and updating our website to helping create eLearning content. He's particularly excited about helping to reshape the pathway to training in COS-Intensive. He continues to enjoy training providers online and in person.

Neil's background as a physician who focused on child psychiatry and his time in academia as a professor are the root of lifelong passions in clinical work and research. As a professor in public health and medicine at Tulane University for more than a decade, he co-led the mental health service for children with medical illness, worked with parents struggling with substance misuse, developed a statewide program for high-risk children under five and helped create programs for orphaned children in Malawi and Rwanda.

He practices the Circle at home under the guidance of his wife, Adena; together they find much joy in caring for their three kids and the family's rambunctious Portuguese Water Dog. When he can, he enjoys riding his bike, cooking, reading and pondering spiritual dimensions.



Circle of Security International's Leadership Team, Gretchen Cook, Neil Boris, and Deidre Quinlan, discuss their vision for the future of COSI.