Service Announcements


For Immediate Release
May 14, 2009

For More Information Contact:
Ed Shelleby
(202) 662-3602

WASHINGTON, DC-The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) is moving again toward actualizing its vision for a high quality comprehensive national childhood development system, President Marian Wright Edelman said in announcing Dr. Cathy Grace as CDF’s Director of Early Childhood Development Policy.

“CDF is excited to have Cathy Grace lead our efforts to advance a positive agenda to promote a long overdue early childhood development system to meet young children where they are, to support their healthy development and to ensure school readiness and successful school advancement,” said Edelman.

Dr. Grace will join CDF from Mississippi State University where she directs the Early Childhood Institute, The National Center for Early Childhood Rural Initiatives, and holds the title of professor in the College of Education. With more than 35 years of experience, Dr. Grace has worked as a classroom teacher, directed a university-based early care and education program, served as the early childhood coordinator for the Mississippi Department of Education, directed a regional early childhood professional development organization, founded a local family support/preservation program, and served as a consultant to local Head Start agencies and as an advisor to state legislators, governors and policy makers. During her career she has conducted field research, developed curriculum and training for early childhood educators, been published in research journals, and co-authored two books.

“She is not only a seasoned and creative early childhood specialist, she knows how to operationalize as well as develop sound policy,” Edelman said.  “At this exciting time of national transformation, she will bring a much needed voice and vision to this crucial area.”

Dr. Grace, in her acceptance of this position said, “This is an opportunity that I could not pass up because it holds tremendous promise for young children facing uncertain futures as well as for the children not yet born and their families. The course set for young children in the next 12 to 24 months will forever change lives and determine the productivity of this country for the remainder of this century.”