Institute for Early Education Leadership & Innovation


Led by Executive Director, Dr. Anne Douglass, the Institute for Early Education Leadership & Innovation at the University of Massachusetts Boston (The Leadership Institute) drives systems change in early care and education so that all early educators, young children, and their families thrive. It invests in workforce and leadership development, research, and the larger early education ecosystem to cultivate leaders who reflect and represent their communities.

Educator fellow in infant classroom, UMass Boston
Leadership May 2018, UMass Boston


Founded in 2016, the Leadership Institute amplifies talent that already exists in the workforce in order to advance the field of early care and education. It devises programs and research organized around a common theme – that high-quality early care and education require bold, effective, and creative leaders with a shared vision and purpose, who reflect the racial, cultural, and linguistic richness of their communities.

The Leadership Institute is nationally recognized as a model of excellence on account of its  efforts to foster a diverse workforce of effective leaders.

The Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation™ sees the tremendous value and importance in Dr. Douglass’ vision and is proud to support her and the Leadership Institute. 


Building upon Douglass’ vision, graduates of the program have reached over 5,000 children and their families. They are opening new preschools; testing innovations in their practice; and achieving efficiencies in business operations through innovations such as shared services that free up resources for quality enhancements.

Furthermore, graduates are conducting cutting-edge research and advocating for public policies that support young children and their families. They are re-energized and sustained with through the institute’s alumnae Leadership Network that reinforces their leadership and retains them in the field.

Leadership May 2018, UMass Boston