Joan Lombardi is a Senior Fellow at American Progress. Dr. Lombardi is an international expert on child development and social policy. She currently serves as senior advisor to the Bernard van Leer Foundation on global child development strategies and to the Buffett Early Childhood Fund on national initiatives. She also directs Early Opportunities LLC, focusing on innovation, policy, and philanthropy.
Over the past 40 years, Dr. Lombardi 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. From 2009 to 2011, she served in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as the first deputy assistant secretary for Early Childhood Development in the Obama administration. Previously, she served as the deputy assistant secretary for Policy and External Affairs in the administration for Children and Families and as the first commissioner of the Child Care Bureau, among other positions from 1993 to 1998 during the Clinton administration. Outside of public service, she served as the founding chair of the Birth to Five Policy Alliance—now the Alliance for Early Success—and as the founder of Global Leaders for Young Children.
Dr. Lombardi 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. She serves as the president of the Board of 1000 Days; a member of the Board of Trustees of Save the Children; and a member of Investing in Young Children Globally, a project of the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council.