Sharon Lynn Kagan

Sharon Lynn Kagan is the Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Early Childhood and Family Policy and Co-Director of the National Center for Children and Families at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Professor Adjunct at Yale University's Child Study Center.

Dr. Kagan, recognized nationally and internationally for her work related to the care and education of young children and their families, is a frequent consultant to the White House, Congress, the National Governors Association, the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, numerous states, foundations, corporations, and professional associations, and serves on over 40 national boards or panels. She has been the President of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the Co-Chair of the National Education Goals Panel on Goal One, Past President of Family Support America’s Board of Directors, and a member of President Clinton’s education transition team and National Commissions on Head Start and Chapter 1. She is dedicated to early childhood education, having been a Head Start Teacher and Director, as well as an administrator in the public schools and Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Early Childhood Education.

In addition to these contributions, Dr. Kagan is globally recognized for her unique scholarship. In over 225 publications including 14 volumes, Kagan’s analytic work has helped the field define school readiness, the early childhood system, dimensions of collaboration, and leadership in early care and education. With scores of grants from America’s leading foundations and the federal government, she has researched early childhood pedagogy, strategies for service integration, and the evaluation of social programs. She is currently working internationally to establish early learning standards and policies for young children in 45 countries including Armenia, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Eritrea, Georgia, Ghana, Jordan, Mongolia, Lesotho, Paraguay, Seychelles, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. The recipient of international and national honorary doctoral degrees, she was made a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in 2010 and elected to membership in the National Academy of Education in 2012. Perhaps most importantly, however, Dr. Kagan may be best known as the only woman in the history of American Education to be recognized for these contributions with its most prestigious awards: the 2004 Distinguished Service Award from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the 2005 James Bryant Conant Award for Lifetime Service to Education from the Education Commission of the States (ECS), and the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education.