Ellen Frede Joins NIEER Leadership Team

Dr. Frede to develop assessment, professional development and technical assistance tools

New Brunswick, NJ — The National Institute for Early Education Research is proud to announce Ellen Frede, Ph.D., has joined NIEER as senior co-director for the development and management of research, assessments of practice linked to  professional development and technical assistance related to systems design and large-scale implementation of early learning initiatives with a special focus on better serving dual language learners.

Dr. Frede, who recently served as Deputy Director for Early Learning at The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, brings early education experience and expertise ranging from Head Start classrooms to national policy. This new role will focus on enhancing NIEER’s work informing early childhood public policy through research, evaluation and education.

Since 2002, the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) has conducted academic research to inform policy supporting high-quality, early education for all young children. Such education promotes the physical, cognitive and social development needed for children to succeed in school and later life. NIEER provides independent, research-based analysis and technical assistance to policymakers, journalists, researchers, and educators.

Recent NIEER publications include State(s) of Head Start, the first report to describe and analyze in detail Head Start enrollment, funding, quality, and duration, state-by-state, and The State of Preschool 2016, the only national report on state-funded preschool programs with detailed information on enrollment, funding, teacher qualifications, and other policies related to quality.

Announcing Dr. Frede’s appointment, Rutgers University Graduate School of Education Dean Wanda J. Blanchett Ph.D. praised Dr. Frede’s depth of knowledge and dedication to early education research and practice.

“Dr. Frede’s many decades of leadership in early education research and practice will position the GSE and NIEER at the forefront of policy and practice initiatives,” said Dean Blanchett. “She comes with a wealth of knowledge, experience, and ability to bridge research, policy, and practice that will advance excellence and equity for all students across the state, nationally, and globally.”

Dr. Frede has been influential in early education policy in New Jersey and nationally. She served as assistant to the commissioner in the New Jersey Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education, as well as senior vice president for early learning, research and training at Acelero Learning Inc.,  an advisor to state and city governments and to NGOs in the US and globally.

Dr. Frede, a former professor in The College of New Jersey Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education, also has conducted research at the Rutgers University Eagleton Institute’s Center for Policy Research in Education and the Temple University Center for Research in Human Development and Education. She previously served as NIEER co-director from 2005-2011.

“I’m so excited to return to NIEER,” Dr. Frede said. “A special focus will be initiatives to improve policies, practices and tools that enhance the learning of dual language learners.”

Dr. Frede has edited and written a wide range of books and chapters for research and practice, as well as peer-reviewed journal articles. She holds a doctorate in developmental psychology from Utah State University. She earned a master’s degree in human development from Pacific Oaks College and a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from the University of Michigan.


The National Institute for Early Education Research (www.nieer.org) at the Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, supports early childhood education policy and practice through independent, objective research.