Elizabeth Mears and House Jameson Professor in the Child Study Center and Professor of Psychology; Director, The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy
Walter S. Gilliam is the Elizabeth Mears & House Jameson Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center and Director of Yale’s Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy. Dr. Gilliam is Vice President of ZERO TO THREE, a past president of Child Care Aware of America; a board director for the Irving Harris Foundation, First Children’s Finance, and All Our Kin; and a former Senior Advisor to the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Dr. Gilliam is co-recipient of the prestigious 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 preschool expulsion, as well as issues of COVID-19 transmission, vaccination, and health and safety promotion in early childhood settings. 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. His work frequently has been covered in major national and international news outlets for print (e.g., New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, LA Times), radio (e.g., NPR), and television (e.g., CNN Headline News, NBC TODAY Show, CBS Early Show, ABC Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight, FOX News). Dr. Gilliam actively provides consultation to state and federal decision-makers in the U.S. and other countries (such as the People’s Republic of China and the United Arab Emirates) and frequently provides U.S. Congressional testimony and briefings on issues related to early care and education.