Walter S Gilliam MSEd, PhD

Associate Professor in the Child Study Center and of Psychology; Associate Professor of Psychology; Director, The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy

Biographical Info

Walter S. Gilliam is the Director of The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy and Associate Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology at the Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine. He is on the board of directors for the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA); a fellow at Zero to Three and the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), and served as a senior advisor to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Dr. Gilliam is co-recipient of the 2008 Grawemeyer Award in Education for the coauthored book A Vision for Universal Preschool Education.

Dr. Gilliam’s research involves early childhood education and intervention policy analysis (specifically how policies translate into effective services), ways to improve the quality of prekindergarten and child care services, the impact of early childhood education programs on children’s school readiness, and effective methods for reducing classroom behavior problems and reducing the incidence of preschool expulsion. His scholarly writing addresses early childhood care and education programs, school readiness, and developmental assessment of young children. Dr. Gilliam has led national analyses of state-funded prekindergarten policies and mandates, how prekindergarten programs are being implemented across the range of policy contexts, and the effectiveness of these programs at improving school readiness and educational achievement, as well as experimental and quasi-experimental studies on methods to improve early education quality.

Dr. Gilliam actively provides consultation to state and federal decision-makers. His work has been covered in major national and international news outlets for print (e.g., New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, etc.), radio (e.g., National Public Radio), and television (e.g., NBC Today Show, CBS The Early Show, ABC World News, CNN, FOX, etc.).


International Activity

  • Early Education Policy
    China(2011 - 2011)
    Consultation with Ministry of Education regarding national early education policy
  • Early Childhood Education Policy
    Singapore(2009 - 2009)
    Invited presentation at the National Child Education Conference and Exposition
  • Early child development and education policy
    Israel(2009 - 2010)
    Invited presentation
  • Early Education
    Japan(2008)
    Release of the book, A Vision for Universal Preschool Education, in Japanese
  • Early Child Development Policy Consultation
    Bulgaria(2008 - 2009)
    Consultation regarding national policies to support young children's development

Education & Training

M.Sc.
University of Kentucky (1993)
Ph.D.
University of Kentucky (1996)
Internship in Clinical Psychology
Yale University School of Medicine, Child Study Center (1995 - 1996)
Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Psychology
Yale University School of Medicine, Child Study Center (1996 - 1997)
Research Postdoctoral Fellowship
Yale University School of Medicine, Child Study Center (1997 - 1999)

Honors & Recognition

  • Grawemeyer Award in Education
    Grawemeyer Committee, University of Louisville (2008)
  • First for Kids Award, Priscilla Canny Research Award
    Connecticut Voices for Children (2008)

Professional Service

  • Reviewer, National Research Council, National Academies (2008 - 2008)
  • Editorial Board(07/01/2011)
  • Connecticut Early Childhood Education Cabinet, Connecticut Governor’s State Advisory Council (SAC) (07/01/2011)
  • Board of Directors (and Public Policy Committe), National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) (07/01/2010)
  • Senior Advisor, National Association for the Education of Young Children (07/01/2007 - 12/31/2009)
  • Connecticut Association for Human Services (07/01/2003)
  • Consultant, U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences (03/01/2007 - 03/01/2007)
  • Editorial Board(01/01/2009)
  • Connecticut Early Childhood Research and Policy Council (01/01/2007 - 12/31/2009)
  • Editorial Board(01/01/2006)
  • Consulting Editor(01/01/2006)
  • Editorial Board(01/01/2005)

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