Barbara A. Willer, Ph.D. is NAEYC’s Senior Advisor for Strategic Innovation. In this role, she assists in staffing the work of the governing board and oversees the incubation of strategic efforts, including NAEYC’s role in K-3 education and international efforts. She also oversees NAEYC’s efforts related to individual giving, major gifts, planned giving and grant writing. Prior to this role, Willer served 15 years as Deputy Executive Director, facilitating NAEYC’s efforts for standard-setting and accreditation for early childhood education programs serving young children as well as professional preparation programs in institutions of higher education. She has also served the association as interim executive director (Summer 2013), public affairs director, and affiliate group/public policy director.
Frequently quoted in the national press and family-oriented magazines on issues related to early childhood development, child care and early education, Dr. Willer has made numerous appearances on network and cable television, including MSNBC, al Jazeera America, The Washington Journal, NBC Nightly News, the Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS Morning News, Lifetime Television, CNN, and Fox Morning News. Dr. Willer has authored various publications regarding NAEYC Accreditation and on issues related to school readiness, the quality and affordability of early childhood programs, and early childhood professional development. Willer received her doctorate from Cornell University in Human Development and Family Studies. In addition to her work at NAEYC, her experiences include teaching preschool, working in a community agency for low-income families and their children as a VISTA volunteer, and volunteering as a parent in an NAEYC-accredited early childhood program.