Kristin Bernhard

Chief Policy and Research Officer, Start Early
Chicago, Illinois

Bernhard  is the Chief Policy and Research Officer at Start Early. Prior to joining Start Early, Kristin served as the Deputy Commissioner for System Reform at the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, where she led the implementation of the state’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant, Quality Rating & Improvement System, Early Head Start Child Care Partnership Grant, Early Childhood Integrated Data System, and other initiatives to strengthen the state’s early learning system.  Her career has also included serving as the Education Policy Advisor to Governor Nathan Deal and time in the policy office of Governor Sonny Perdue. She is a member of the inaugural class of the Governor Zell Miller Foundation Leadership Institute and the University of Georgia’s 40 under 40 class of 2018. Kristin is a graduate of the University of Georgia and Georgia State University’s College of Law.

My Truth

The bold vision for change is moving state advocacy leaders from focusing on access and quality alone in early childhood to an integrated system focused on the whole family that dismantles the structures that have led to generational poverty. I believe that if we are successful in embedding a whole family approach in early learning while simultaneously embedding early learning in a whole family approach, states will finally begin to see the needle move on positive outcomes for all.

Stories featuring Kristin Bernhard

We are pleased to share Ascend at the Aspen Institute’s newest report – Reimagining Child Welfare and Realizing a Networked Approach to F...
PublicationApril 10, 2023
The COVID-19 pandemic has made more evident than ever the need to transform policies, practice, and systems to build upon the inherent resilience of f...
BlogDecember 9, 2020
Physical and mental health and well-being are core components of the two-generation approach that builds family well-being by intentionally and simult...
BlogJuly 22, 2020
Black Lives Matter. As a collective of leaders committed to advancing two-generation strategies to end multigenerational poverty, we believe that the ...
BlogJune 29, 2020
Kwame AnkuChairman and CEOBlack Star Fund Sacramento, CAMy Vision – The problem I am focusing on solving is breaking the economic disparity...
Ascend FellowshipJune 19, 2019
2018 Ascend Fellows
NEWS RELEASE Contact: Lindsay Broyhill Ascend at the Aspen Institute Tel: 202.721.5596 Prestigious Aspen Institute...
Press ReleasesSeptember 6, 2018

Convenings Featuring Kristin Bernhard

Location: Live webcast
Please join us for a national release and strategic briefing on Toward a More Equitable Future: A Landscape Analysis of Early Childhood Leadership. This report zeroes in on the future of the early childhood field through the lenses of racial equity...
ConveningJune 15, 2022