Heather K. Blier, Ph.D.

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Heather K. Blier, Ph.D.

Dr. Heather Blier started Dirigo Consulting after holding research, teaching, and leadership positions in schools and healthcare agencies. Drawing from this diverse background, Dr. Blier developed a consulting model dedicated to collaborative working relationships with leaders in educational organizations. Through these relationships, she helps to bring innovative interventions to better serve individuals who face challenges in their learning, social relationships, access to academic or clinical resources, and/or self-regulation of their emotions and behaviors.

Dr. Blier has a doctorate in Clinical Psychology with license in the State of Maine as a Psychologist. She specializes in clinical assessment and intervention, placing a special emphasis on research-based practices and applied research in clinical and academic settings.  In addition, Dr. Blier has extensive training and experience in program development, with a focus on helping agencies and systems better meet the needs of each individual they serve.  She is a trainer in leadership development for young and emerging professionals.  Dr. Blier has also developed and supervised clinical training opportunities for professionals in subjects such as trauma-informed practices, violence/bullying prevention, risk assessment, treatment of adolescent addiction, rural health services, school mental health, and family-based intervention.

Dr. Blier has co-authored a number of articles and textbook chapters with leading researchers in the field of behavioral disorders and has presented her work internationally.

When not working, Dr. Blier is a Disaster Mental Health Volunteer for the American Red Cross. She is the co-director of the Maine chapter and serves as a national Life Entrepreneurship trainer with the nonprofit New Leaders Council, a progressive organization that focuses on building leadership skills for young professionals.  Dr. Blier serves on the board of directors for the Girls on the Run nonprofit organization.  She also enjoys a range of outdoor sports including running, cycling, kayaking, hiking, skiing, and snowboarding.

Josh works behind-the-scenes to provide logistical support for the team, managing everything from invoicing to business planning. He also conceptualizes and executes long-term special projects that further the company’s mission to turn research into practice on a state and federal basis.

Before joining the company here in Portland, Josh lived and worked in Manhattan. Always dedicated to enriching young people’s lives, he was an editor at the world’s largest children’s book publisher and even achieved his lifelong dream of becoming an award-winning author. After 14 years of frenetic life in the big city, the success of his published work enabled him to move to Maine in pursuit of a work-life balance that aligned more closely with his core values.

He holds a master’s degree in sociology and education from Columbia University Teachers College as well as a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Gallatin School at New York University.

In his spare time, he enjoys yoga, jogging, exploring Maine, and chasing after his Jack Russell Terrier, Simon.

For two decades, Emily has dedicated her career to developing and implementing effective interventions and supports for children in the context of their schools and homes. Emily works within school mental health systems to develop and deliver services for students with complex needs. Placing a special emphasis on evidence-based interventions, she focuses on skill-building for students as well as for the individuals who provide services to each student.

Emily has worked with students across the developmental lifespan from ages three to twenty and has extensive experience working with special populations, including children with developmental disabilities and significant emotional and behavioral disabilities.  In addition to working directly with students, Emily offers expert-level consultation to families of children with significant emotional and behavioral needs.

When her schedule permits, Emily is a volunteer for Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation, an organization that teaches sports activities to kids and adults with physical disabilities. She also enjoys gourmet cooking and hiking the mountains of Maine.

Dr. Wisniewski is joining Dirigo Consulting with 13 years experience in clinical, research and leadership positions in public schools. Central to her work is the focus on building collaborative relationships within intradisciplinary educational teams.  Dr. Wisniewski specializes in diagnostic assessment that is linked with best practice intervention and progress monitoring, programming for students with autism and significant emotional and behavioral disorders, and multimodal functional behavioral assessment. She has extensive experience in assisting school systems with program development, including day treatment, school-based programs for students with autism spectrum disorders, school-wide positive behavior supports, response to intervention and instruction, and general provision of special education services. Dr. Wisniewski earned her M.S.Ed. and Ph.D. in School Psychology at Duquesne University. She is certified as a School Psychological Service Provider and Assistant Special Services Director. She has co-authored a number of articles and textbook chapters in the area of area of child violence, differentiating emotional disturbance and social maladjustment, and mentoring in educational leadership.


Meaghan Opuda Swan, Psy.D., BCBA

Meaghan Swan, Psy.D., BCBA, is an educational consultant at Dirigo Consulting. Dr. Swan specializes in complex diagnostic assessment; program development for students with significant emotional and behavioral needs; and, at all levels of support, providing effective interventions for children who struggle with autism or emotional disabilities in schools. Working closely with school teams, Dr. Swan uses Multi-Tiered Systems of Support to improve academic and behavioral outcomes at the individual and systems level.

Dr. Swan is certified with the Maine Department of Education as a special education teacher and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in 2014. Dr. Swan received her Psy.D. in School Psychology at University of Southern Maine, where she also received her MS in Educational Psychology.

On days off, Dr. Swan loves skiing, mountain biking, hiking, and anything else outdoors. She is also a craft beer enthusiast who even owns her own brewery in Farmington along with her husband, Matthew.

Heather K. Blier, Ph.D.
Meaghan Opuda Swan, Psy.D., BCBA