Home/About/Board of Directors/Walter S. Gilliam
Walter S. Gilliam Headshot

Walter S. Gilliam

Walter S. Gilliam, PhD, is the Elizabeth Mears and House Jameson Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology at the Yale University Child Study Center, and Director of the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy. Dr. Gilliam is Vice President of the Board of Directors of ZERO TO THREE.

Contributions to the Field

Dr. Gilliam has conducted extensive research involving early childhood education and intervention policy analysis, ways to improve the quality and mental health of prekindergarten and child care services, early childhood mental health consultation, early childhood expulsions and suspensions, the impact of early childhood education on school readiness, implicit bias in early childhood settings, and the health and wellbeing of early childhood professionals.


  • Past President, Child Care Aware of America
  • Board Treasurer, Irving Harris Foundation
  • Board of Directors, All Our Kin
  • Board of Directors, First Children’s Finance

Current Research

Dr. Gilliam’s research involves early childhood education and intervention policy analysis, ways to improve the quality and mental healthiness of early childhood programs, early childhood expulsions and suspensions, and most recently the impact of COVID-19 on early childhood programs, including leading epidemiological studies of COVID-19 transmission in child care programs and exploring the mental health impacts of the pandemic on child care professionals and the children they serve.

Recent Honors/Awards/Recognition/Books Published

In 2008, Dr. Gilliam was the co-recipient of the Grawemeyer Award in Education for the most influential work in the field of education and was awarded the Priscilla Canny Research Award from Connecticut Voices for Children for the researcher who has most benefited children through state government. He has authored or coauthored numerous publications on young child development and early education and intervention, including the books A Vision for Universal Preschool Education (2006) and The Pre-K Debates: Current Controversies and Issues (2011). His research and work are frequently covered by international and national media.