Erikson Institute Excited to Partner with Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker

Credit Courtesy of the J.B. Pritzker campaign

Erikson Institute congratulates J.B. Pritzker on becoming the 43rd Governor of Illinois. A core component of Erikson’s work is advocating for public policies that benefit very young children and their families, and Governor-elect Pritzker has long supported such initiatives. We at Erikson look forward to working with the new administration, and we are proud to have connections with the Governor-elect’s newly announced transition team.

Lt. Governor-elect Juliana Stratton, Chair of the Transition Committee, is a 2017 alumnus of Erikson’s McCormick Foundation Executive Fellows program. The program immerses influential leaders from the judicial, political, and civic sectors in a dynamic learning experience that gives them a comprehensive understanding of the long-term benefits of supporting early child development, and the knowledge to make well-informed decisions on policies impacting very young children and their families. The executive-level fellowship, generously funded by a gift from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, is one of the nation’s premier professional experiences for today’s leaders.

The transition team has other Erikson connections: Our co-founder, Board Trustee, and faculty member, Barbara T. Bowman, is a Transition Team Co-Chair. Recognized nationally as a champion for early childhood education, Barbara has previously worked as Chief Early Childhood Education Officer for the Chicago Public Schools and served as a consultant to the U.S. Secretary of Education during President Obama’s first term. Barbara will lend her vast knowledge in the fields of child development and educational advocacy to the transition team. In addition, Chicago business leader Michael Sacks will serve as a Senior Adviser to the transition committee. Sacks, along with his wife Cari, an Erikson alumna and Board Trustee, are longtime supporters of Erikson.

Pritzker and Stratton also recently announced the formation of an education transition team. This specialized group will be charged with advising the administration on policies for all levels of education. It includes Erikson’s director of policy Cristina Pacione-Zayas, PhD, as well as Erikson professor emerita and alumna Aisha Ray, PhD, MEd ’72. The two will join a team that advises the Governor-elect on ways to improve early care and education for Illinois children.

Erikson is eager to collaborate with Governor-elect Pritzker and other early childhood advocates to create and enhance policies and programs that will contribute to a cohesive system of support for infants and young children, particularly those exposed to trauma in Illinois’ most challenged communities. We look forward to the next four years and to more progress on the issues that Governor-elect Pritzker, and Erikson Institute, have long championed.

Article updated December 10, 2018