Home/About/Media/ZERO TO THREE Announces Walter S. Gilliam as Board President and Two New Board Members

ZERO TO THREE Announces Walter S. Gilliam as Board President and Two New Board Members

ZERO TO THREE, the nation’s leading early development nonprofit dedicated to ensuring all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life, is pleased to announce the appointment of Walter S. Gilliam, PhD, as President of its Board of Directors. Gilliam is joined by new board members Aimee Hilado, PhD., LCSW, and Kandace Thomas, MPP, PhD. 

“Walter’s insights in early childhood education and mental health are invaluable to our mission to improve and strengthen the ways communities support babies and their families,” said Matthew Melmed, Executive Director of ZERO TO THREE. “I am eager to partner with him and our newest members, Aimee and Kandace, to leverage our collective expertise, experience and voices to inspire others – especially policymakers and other critical decision makers – to create lasting impact for babies and toddlers, not just now, but deep into the future.” 

Gilliam has conducted extensive research on early childhood education and intervention policy analysis; ways to improve the mental health of young children; early childhood expulsions and suspensions; implicit bias in early childhood settings; and the health and well-being of early childhood professionals. He is executive director of the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska, where he also holds the Richard D. Holland Presidential Chair in Early Childhood Development. He is a tenured professor at the Munroe-Meyer Institute at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and a professor adjunct at the Yale Child Study Center. 

“ZERO TO THREE has been a leader in advancing transformative efforts to protect and promote the well-being of our nation’s youngest,” said Dr. Gilliam, who joined the board in 2012. “Together, we will continue to build a country where all babies and toddlers can thrive and reach their full potential.”  

Aimee Hilado is a ZERO TO THREE Fellow, practitioner scholar and community-engaged intervention researcher specializing in immigration trauma and refugee mental health. She is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago, where she teaches and conducts research on understudied pathways to promoting mental wellness and adjustment among newcomer communities in the U.S. Her research lab – The Refugee Wellness Laboratory – engages immigrant and refugee communities to understand mental health outcomes in the context of the organizations and health systems with which they interact. 

Kandace ThomasKandace Thomas is a leader in infant and early childhood mental health, child development and diversity-informed practice. She is the inaugural executive director of First 8 Memphis, an early childhood systems-building organization that partners with the City of Memphis and Shelby County in Tennessee. Before that, she was a senior program officer at the Irving Harris Foundation, where she worked with organizations integrating infant and early childhood mental health, trauma-informed and early childhood development best practices into systems serving young children and their families.  


Learn more about the ZERO TO THREE Board of Directors at zerotothree.org/bod. 

Read More

Related News


We need your support now more than ever to ensure all babies have access to the quality care, services and support they need to thrive.