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 Atkin 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 a 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

Carola Oliva-Olson, Ph.D. is the Chief Innovation Officer at EDvance College. Dr. Oliva-Olson has extensive local, state, and national experience working with young Dual Language Learners (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, and K-2 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.

Katie Fallin Kenyon

Katie is an independent consultant with more than 20 years of experience working on issues related to children and families in the greater Los Angeles area.

Jan Fish 

Jan is the co-lead consultant at Partnerships in Education, Articulation, and Collaboration in Higher Education (PEACH), a Higher Education group committed to preparing a qualified and effective Early Childhood Education (ECE) workforce. 

Libby Doggett 

Libby is an Early Learning Expert and Consultant and the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Policy and Early Learning at the U.S. Department of Education.

Albert Wat

Albert is the Senior Policy Director at the Alliance for Early Success.

Marlene Zepeda 

Marlene is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Child and Family Studies at California State University, Los Angeles.