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Professor of Early Care and Education Leadership, Policy, and Practice, UMass Boston

Anne Douglass, PhD., is Professor and Program Director of the Post Masters Certificate Programs in Early Education Research, Policy, and Practice. She is the founding executive director of the Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation at UMass Boston.

Her teaching and research focus on child care quality improvement, policy, professional development, and leadership. She studies relational organizational systems, and how they contribute to early educators’ capacity to improve teaching practices and partnerships with families. Her leadership work is dedicated to the design of programs, systems, and policies that support individual and collective leadership for equity, improvement and innovation among early educators. Her research has been published in a wide range of academic journals, and she presents nationally and internationally at academic, policy, and professional meetings. She received her PhD from the Heller School for Social Policy at Brandeis University, her master’s degree in education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and her bachelor’s degree in political science from Wellesley College.

Douglass brings a wealth of expertise as an urban early educator to this work, as a teacher, administrator, family child care owner and educator, professional development trainer, and organizational improvement consultant. Her two decades of experience as a practitioner working directly with children, families, and teachers informs her deep respect for the expertise of early educators, and has shaped the focus of her research and teaching in higher education.


  • 2009–2017
    Associate Professor and Executive Director, Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation, University of Massachusetts Boston