Over the past 40 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 philanthropic advisement service focused on the development of young children, families and the communities that support them. In this role she provides overall advisement to the Buffett Early Childhood Fund and to the Pritzker Children’s Initiative, among others. She is a Visiting Scholar at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University. She also serves as the Guest Editor of Early Childhood Matters, the journal of the Bernard van Leer Foundation which annually chronicles leadership, innovations and scaling in early childhood taking place around the world.
Joan 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.