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Early Childhood Policy and Practice Leader Miriam Calderón Joins ZERO TO THREE as Chief Policy Officer

Feb 3, 2022

Calderón comes to ZERO TO THREE after most recently serving as a presidential appointee at the U.S. Department of Education.

Washington, D.C., February 3, 2022ZERO TO THREE, the nation’s leading early childhood development nonprofit dedicated to ensuring all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life, today announced that Miriam Calderón, early childhood expert and presidential appointee, will join the organization as Chief Policy Officer, effective February 14. In her new role, Calderón will lead the development and implementation of ZERO TO THREE’s policy agenda and oversee the Policy Center, which includes federal and state policy, advocacy, and technical assistance units. She will serve as a member of the executive leadership team and as the principal spokesperson for the organization on public policy matters.

“We are energized and excited to welcome Miriam to ZERO TO THREE. Miriam has worked at all levels of government — local, state, and national — as well as in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. Her depth and breadth of knowledge and experience across the early childhood field are unparalleled,” said executive director Matthew Melmed. Throughout her exemplary career, Miriam has been a champion for babies with a focus on centering racial equity and engaging parents and practitioners in developing responsive policy solutions. We are fortunate to have her leadership, passion and insights to deepen our impact at such a pivotal time for our nation.”

Calderón comes to ZERO TO THREE after most recently serving as a presidential appointee in the Biden Administration in the role of deputy assistant secretary for early learning at the U.S. Department of Education. She also served as a political appointee in the Obama Administration, where she advised the White House on early learning policy at the Domestic Policy Council and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Calderón was appointed by Governor Kate Brown in 2017 to serve as the early learning system director for the state of Oregon, where she led an agency responsible for administration of child care, preschool, and home visiting programs and supports for the early childhood workforce. In this role, she oversaw the implementation of the largest expansion of early childhood investments for young children and families in the state’s history.

Prior to Oregon, Calderón served as the senior director of early learning at the Bainum Family Foundation, where she shaped a new $10 million philanthropic investment in a comprehensive birth-to-three system for the District of Columbia. She was also a senior fellow with the BUILD Initiative, leading BUILD’s work related to dual language learners and serving as a faculty member for BUILD’s Equity Leaders Action Network. Previously, Calderón served as director of early childhood education at District of Columbia Public Schools, where she oversaw Head Start and pre-kindergarten programs, including helping to implement universal pre-kindergarten. Calderón also served as associate director of education policy at the UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza), a Hispanic civil rights organization, where she focused on early education policy for Latinx, immigrant, and dual language learner children. She began her career in early childhood as a mental health consultant in Head Start programs in Portland, Oregon. Calderón holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Delaware and a Master of Social Work degree from Portland State University.

“I am honored to step into this role at this extraordinary time,” said Calderón. “ZERO TO THREE has a long history of federal and state policy work that has a measurable impact on the lives of babies, toddlers, and their families. I look forward to joining this highly experienced team and contributing my professional and lived experience to create transformative change for young children, their families and our future.”

About ZERO TO THREE

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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