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ZERO TO THREE Introduces New Policy and Marketing Leaders

WASHINGTON — ZERO TO THREE is pleased to announce two new senior management team members who will guide critical work for the internationally-recognized leader in the early childhood field.

Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor joined ZERO TO THREE in September as chief policy officer, and Ernestine Walls Benedict became the organization’s chief communications officer in December.

ZERO TO THREE is fortunate to be able to attract top talent like Ernestine and Myra,” said Matthew Melmed, executive director of ZERO TO THREE. “Babies, toddlers and their families deserve to have the very best people advocating for them. I know that these two leaders will advance our work to make sure all little ones get a strong start in life.

Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor Headshot

Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor is the new Chief Policy Officer at ZERO TO THREE.

Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor

As the chief policy officer at ZERO TO THREE, Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor leads the development and implementation of ZERO TO THREE’s policy agenda, priorities and strategies; oversees the Policy Center, which includes federal and state policy, advocacy and federally-funded technical assistance units; and serves as the principal spokesperson and point of contact for the organization on public policy matters with policymakers, the media, funders, and partner organizations.

Prior to this role, Dr. Jones-Taylor served as the founding commissioner of the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood. The cabinet-level state agency was responsible for early intervention programs, home visiting, early care and education and child care licensing programs across the state, serving more than 50,000 children each year.

Dr. Jones-Taylor received her doctorate in American studies and anthropology from Yale University. She is an active board member of organizations committed to young children and ending racial and social inequality, including All Our Kin, Capita and Equity Partners. She is also a member of the Irving Harris Early Childhood and Reproductive Health Advisory Committee.

Ernestine Benedict Headshot

Ernestine Benedict is the new Chief Communications Officer at ZERO TO THREE.

Ernestine Walls Benedict

As ZERO TO THREE’s chief communications officer, Ernestine Walls Benedict oversees and guides all aspects of the organization’s communications functions, including digital communications, media and public relations, brand management and promotion.

Prior to joining ZERO TO THREE, Benedict was chief communications officer for the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, a national effort to boost children’s early literacy and early school success. During her tenure there, Benedict developed an integrated communications, outreach and engagement strategy to activate champions for grade-level reading. Previously, she held positions as chief of communications for District of Columbia Public Schools and vice president of marketing and communications for Reading is Fundamental.

Ernestine holds a Bachelor of Business Studies degree in Finance from Temple University. She is a member and committee volunteer for the D.C. Chapter of the American Marketing Association.


ZERO TO THREE works to ensure all babies and toddlers benefit from the family and community connections critical to their well-being and development. Since 1977, the organization has advanced the proven power of nurturing relationships by transforming the science of early childhood into helpful resources, practical tools and responsive policies for millions of parents, professionals and policymakers. For more information, and to learn how to become a ZERO TO THREE member, please visit zerotothree.org, facebook.com/ZEROTOTHREE or follow @ZEROTOTHREE on Twitter.

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