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Psychology Professor Named President of Child Development Foundation

Deborah Phillips

Deborah Phillips

July 18, 2012 – Deborah Phillips, a professor of psychology at Georgetown, will become the new president of the Foundation for Child Development on Sept. 1. 

The foundation, a national, independent grant-making organization, is dedicated to the well-being of children in the United States.

Phillips has been a leading expert in child development for more than 30 years, working at the intersection of psychology and policy in academic, policy and nonprofit positions.

“In today’s world, with yet another historically diverse generation of children growing up in the trough of an economic cycle, this appointment is both a breathtaking responsibility and an exhilarating opportunity,” she says. “The success of these children will be essential to the future of our country.”

The professor’s research focuses mostly on the effects of early childhood education on child development, including child care, Head Start and state Pre-K programs. 

Phillips also serves as an affiliated faculty member at Georgetown Public Policy Institute, where she is co-director of the Center for Research on Children in the United States.

Ruth Ann Burns, the foundation’s board chair, says the organization is looking forward to Phillips taking over as president.

“We were searching for a nationally recognized leader in early childhood who understood the strategic mission of the foundation and, most importantly, the relationship between science and policy,” she says. “After a seven-month national search, Dr. Phillips emerged as a passionate, accomplished leader, with impressive academic credentials and a policy background of translating science into action.”