Our Leadership

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NCCF Co-Directors Jeanne Brooks-Gunn (left) and Sharon Lynn Kagan (right)

Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Ph.D.

Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Child Development and Education
Co-Director,  NCCF 

Biography Curriculum Vitae
Select Publications Contact

Areas of Expertise:

• Early Childhood Development • The Influence of Neighborhood
and Environment on Children
• Adolescent Psychology
(includes teen topics, i.e. “body image,” etc.)
• After School Programs/Extended Day Programs
• Adolescence (Puberty and Sexuality) • Long-Term Effects of Early
Childhood Intervention
• Working Mothers • Low Birth Weight/Vulnerable Kids
• The Role of Fathers in Early
Childhood Development
• The Effects of Poverty on
Children and Families
• How to Identify Quality in a Preschool or Kindergarten

Dr. Brooks-Gunn is the Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Child Development and Education at Teachers College and the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University and she directs the National Center for Children and Families. She is interested in factors that contribute to both positive and negative outcomes across childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, with a particular focus on key social and biological transitions over the life course. She designs and evaluates intervention programs for children and parents (Early Head Start, Infant Health and Development Program, Head Start Quality Program).

Other large-scale longitudinal studies include the Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study and the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (co-PI of both).  She is the author of 4 books and over 350 publications. She has been elected into the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies and she has received life-time achievement awards from the Society for Research in Child Development, American Academy of Political and Social Science, the American Psychological Society, American Psychological Association and Society for Research on Adolescence.

Sharon Lynn Kagan, Ed.D.

Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Early Childhood and Family Policy
Co-Director,  NCCF

Biography Curriculum Vitae
Selected Publications Contact

Areas of Expertise:

• Early Childhood Education and Policy • Head Start and Other Early
Childhood Programs
• State and Federal Educational Policy • International Early Childhood Education
• Standards and Accountability • Practices and Policies impacting Young Children’s Development
• Identifying Quality Programs • The Role of Parents in Children’s Learning and Development
• Schools as Hubs for Service Delivery • Systems, Governance, and Professional Development
• Transition from Pre-School to School • Comprehensive/Integrated Early Childhood Development

Dr. Kagan is the Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Early Childhood and Family Policy and Co-Director of the National Center for Children and Families at Teachers College, Columbia University and Professor Adjunct at Yale University’s Child Study Center. Scholar, pioneer, leader, and advocate, Dr. Kagan has helped shape early childhood practice and policies in the United States and in countries throughout the world. Author of 225 articles and 13 books, Kagan’s research focuses on the institutions that impact child and family life. She consults with numerous international, federal and state agencies, congress, governors, and legislatures, is a member of 40 national boards and panels, and is a Past President of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and Family Support America.

She is currently working around the globe with UNICEF to establish early learning standards in Armenia, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Ghana, Jordan, Mongolia, Paraguay, Turkmenistan, and Viet Nam. She is the only woman in the history of American Education to receive its three most prestigious awards: the 2004 Distinguished Service Award from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the 2005 James Bryant Conant Award for Lifetime Service to Education from the Education Commission of the States (ECS), and the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education.

To request Sharon Lynn Kagan’s publications, contact Eileen Lloyd.