Civic Leaders Selected for Inaugural McCormick Foundation Executive Fellowship

Erikson Institute is proud to announce the inaugural class of the McCormick Foundation Executive Fellows program. Twenty-two leaders in the judicial, political, and civic sectors were selected to participate in executive-level, multi-day sessions that provide a comprehensive understanding of the long-term benefits of supporting early child development, helping them identify opportunities to effectively lead, intervene, and advocate on behalf of children and families in Illinois.

Building a strong foundation for a child’s emotional, social, physical, and cognitive development begins in the home as well as in communities and schools, and it also requires a commitment from the social systems that affect their well-being. Through this new program, Erikson aims to engage leaders and decision-makers from many of those systems who influence policy, advocate for public resources, and shape the educational experience of children.

This systems approach to early childhood development launches on Aug. 9 and will address critical issues such as the connection between adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress; the science of brain development; the importance of secure attachment and relationships; early childhood systems; demographic shifts in the child population in Illinois; recruiting and retaining a qualified and diverse workforce; and early childhood development as a cost-effective investment for communities and society as a whole.

“Outstanding leadership from multiple disciplines is essential if we want to continue progress Illinois has made over decades toward building one of the strongest early learning systems in the nation,” says Cornelia Grumman, education director of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. “The McCormick Foundation is happy to support Erikson’s effort to inform and fuel continued progress over the next decade.”

The program is one of three leadership programs offered through Erikson’s Early Childhood Leadership Academy (ECLA), a signature initiative that provides knowledgeable leaders with dynamic and collective learning experiences to enhance their capacity to influence early childhood policy leading to positive outcomes for young children and their families.

ECLA’s three leadership programs reach a broad range of leaders within the field of early childhood as well as those working outside the field, which include elected officials, judges, heads of state agencies, law enforcement, board members, and community leaders. As Erikson enters its 51st year in 2017, 51 individuals will have successfully completed ECLA leadership programs that are designed to provide content knowledge and to establish and grow a network of early childhood advocates who can identify opportunities to leverage resources, improve services and programs, and influence real change in their communities.

“Erikson is committed to providing thought leadership and resources to influential leaders who can help create evolutionary advancements in early childhood through policy and programs,” says Geoffrey A. Nagle, PhD, president and chief executive officer of Erikson Institute. “Our goal is to empower our leaders through knowledge and evidence so that they are much more intentional in serving the needs of our children.”

Meet Our 2017 McCormick Foundation Executive Fellows

Click photograph to see full bio.