Joan Lombardi




Early Opportunities LLC


Over the past 45 years, Joan has made significant contributions in the areas of child and family policy as an innovative leader and policy advisor to national and international organizations and foundations and as a public servant.

She currently directs Early Opportunities LLC, a strategic advisement service focused on the development of young children, families and the communities that support them. In this role she serves as an advisor to the Buffett Early Childhood Fund and the Pritzker Children’s Initiative, among others. In addition, she is a strategic partner with the Center for the Study of Social Policy and the Ounce of Prevention Fund to help harness the momentum of communities working to develop local early childhood systems. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Bainum Family Foundation.

Joan served as a senior advisor to the Barnard van Leer Foundation from 2011-2019 and as Guest Editor for five years of Early Childhood Matters, the publication which annually chronicles leadership, innovations and scaling in early childhood taking place around the world.

She served in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as the first Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development (2009-2011) and as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and External Affairs in Administration for Children and Families and the first Commissioner of the Child Care Bureau among other positions (l993-1998). She is the author of numerous publications including Time to Care: Redesigning Child Care to Promote Education, Support Families and Build Communities and Co-Author of Beacon of Hope: The Promise of Early Head Start for America’s Youngest Children.

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