Photo by Jim Young

Meet the 2017 McCormick Foundation Executive Fellows

The Early Childhood Leadership Academy (ECLA) is a signature initiative of Erikson Institute that provides knowledgeable leaders with dynamic, collective learning experiences to enhance their capacity to influence early childhood policy leading to positive outcomes for young children and their families. Erikson Institute, which houses the nation’s premier graduate school in child development, works to ensure that all children have equitable opportunities to reach their potential through education, research, service, and advocacy.

McCormick Foundation Executive Fellows

The objective of the executive-level track is to provide highly influential leaders from multiple sectors with a credible, up-to-date, and research-based understanding of child development. Equipped with this information, leaders can make the most informed decisions about policy setting and resource allocation in their respective fields. The program offers:

  • Expert presentations on leading-edge research covering:
    • Science of Brain Development and Secure Attachment
    • Adverse Childhood Experiences and Toxic Stress
    • Early Childhood Systems Building and Coordination
    • Demographic Shifts in Illinois Young Child Population
    • Recruiting and Retaining a Highly Qualified and Diverse Workforce
    • Return on Investing in the Early Years
  • Visits to key early childhood settings in Chicago
  • Networking opportunities with cross-sector leaders
  • On-demand online content

Why nominate an Illinois leader?

Erikson wants to help further the interests of leaders like you or thmfef-one-pager-quoteose in your organization, as well as the public. Influential leaders join a collective of change-agents working together across systems and throughout Illinois to advance programs and policies that will positively contribute to the well-being of young children, families, and the prosperity of our State.

What’s in it for Illinois Leaders?

Elected OfficialsPhoto by Jim Young
Understanding the research on education and child development will allow you to support policies and fund programs that promote equity and quality for all children and families in the communities you represent.

Heads of State Agencies
Acquiring critical knowledge in child development will help to ensure the effective use of limited public resources for the early childhood and family programs you manage.

Law EnforcementPhoto by Jim Young
Understanding the connection between brain development and behavior will empower you to more effectively de-escalate conflict and help ensure children are on a productive path, leading to increased public safety for children and families.

Superintendents and School Board Members
Knowledge about early brain development and how children learn before they enter kindergarten will help to support your goals to enhance student outcomes, better support educators, and achieve academic excellence with limited resources.

JudgesPhoto by Jim Young
Exposure to the current research on childhood trauma and brain development will provide you with a distinct perspective on recidivism and the complex conditions that define the lives of those you serve in the juvenile and family court systems.

Community Leaders
Child well-being is a measure of community health. Learning more about the importance of a strong foundation starting at birth contributes to healthier children, families, and communities.

What are the logistics of the fellowship?

The fellowship will consist of two multi-day sessions that will take place in Chicago, Illinois at Erikson Institute (451 N. LaSalle St.).

  • August 9-11, 2017 (Session One)
    • Welcoming reception and dinner begin at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 9
    • Two full-day seminars on Thursday, August 10 and Friday, August 11, 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
  • October 11-12, 2017 (Session Two)
    • Half-day seminar on Wednesday, October 11, 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
    • Full-day seminar on Thursday, October 12, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

All costs associated with the learning experience, materials, lodging and meals in Chicago, and transportation expenses are generously funded by a gift from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

What is the process to nominate a leader?

Nominations submitted online here with the candidate’s resume or CV. Selection and notification of 2017 fellows will take place in May 2017 and a formal public announcement will follow in July 2017.


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