As Senior Vice President for Policy and Innovation at Illinois Action for Children, Theresa Hawley is responsible for ensuring that the Organization’s policy and advocacy work, research efforts, and direct services to children and families are working together in an integrated way to strengthen early childhood systems at the community and state levels. Theresa drives program and policy innovation across the agency while working to build partnerships with other organizations to expand Illinois Action for Children’s impact.
Theresa has 25 years of experience in developing programs and systems that support the school readiness and social competence of young children in poverty. She recently served as the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development in Illinois, where she spearheaded the development and implementation of the state’s Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant and Preschool Development Grant expansion plans.
Before joining the Governor’s Office, Theresa was the founding Project Director of Educare of West DuPage and a consultant to early learning programs and community collaborations across Illinois. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Notre Dame and her Doctorate in Developmental Psychology from the University of Michigan.