Early Edge California Advisory Board

Our advisory board is made up of experts in the field of Early Learning. They provide guidance and recommendations on ways to achieve Early Edge California’s mission.

Catherine Atkin 

Catherine is the Executive Director of the Early Learning Lab and the former president of Early Edge California. Prior to launching the Lab, Catherine was a Senior Advisor to the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Catherine is an attorney with more than a decade of early childhood leadership and more than two decades of legal and policy experience at the federal, state and local levels. Prior to her work in the early education field, she was a public interest attorney and served as Minority Counsel for a US House of Representatives Banking and Financial Services subcommittee where she focused on urban development and housing. She graduated from Stanford University and holds a law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley and Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from UCLA

Allison Fuligni 

Allison Sidle Fuligni, Ph.D., is Professor in the Department of Child and Family Studies at Cal State LA. Before becoming a full-time faculty member, Dr. Fuligni was Associate Director of the Center for Improving Child Care Quality at UCLA, and a Research Associate at the National Center for Children and Families at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research has explored early parenting, child care quality, and other contextual factors affecting the development and school readiness of children from low-income ethnically-diverse families, particularly dual-language learners. She directed a longitudinal study of diverse school-readiness experiences of low-income children in Los Angeles which is one of the few studies of its kind to follow children in Head Start, community preschools, family child care programs, or no early education as they transitioned into kindergarten. As a professor, she is committed to improving developmental contexts for young children through higher education, and is the primary advisor of Cal State L.A.’s Master’s program in Child Development.

Carola Oliva-Olson, Ph.D.

Dr. Carola Oliva-Olson, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor, Early Childhood Studies, California State University, Channel Islands. She has extensive local, state and national experience working with young DLLs and their families, teachers, administrators and policy leaders, including preparing early care and education teachers to effectively work with children and families from birth to 8. In addition, Dr. Oliva-Olson is an early scholar for a national award from the Foundation for Child Development to analyze the
relative significance of three measures of classroom quality, two classroom language models, and initial language performance in predicting language outcomes for Preschool Head Start and Migrant Head Start DLLs. She is a member of the First 5 Santa Barbara Ventura Commission, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Early Childhood Advisory Group, and lead consultant for dual language early learning efforts with Educare California Silicon Valley, Head Start grantees across the nation, and community programs. Dr. Oliva-Olson is a bilingual former toddler, preschool, kindergarten, first and second grade teacher and coach.

Additional Early Edge California Advisors

The following advisors inform our strategies, build our network, raise our profile, and deepen our engagement in the early childhood education field.

Libby Doggett 

Early Learning Expert and Consultant. Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Policy and Early Learning at the US Department of Education.  

Katie Fallin Kenyon, Ph.D. 

An independent consultant with more than 20 years of experience working on issues related to early childhood development and education. 

Jan Fish 

Jan is the co-lead consultant at Partnerships in Education, Articulation, and Collaboration in Higher Education (PEACH).

Albert Wat

Senior Policy Director at the Alliance for Early Success. 

Marlene Zepeda 

Professor Emerita, California State University Los Angeles