Distinguished Research Fellow
Barbara Bowman one of the three founders of the Erikson Institute for Advanced Study in Child Development in 1966, where she pioneered the teaching of early childhood education and administration. She has become a sought after expert and she tirelessly pursues higher quality and more extensive training for early education practitioners. Her areas of expertise include early childhood care/education and educational equity for minority and low-income children. Taking her expertise abroad, she has consulted with universities in China and Iran. In addition, she has directed training programs for Head Start teachers, teachers in inner-city schools, caregivers of at-risk infants and for a Child Development Associate’s program on Native American Reservations.
For eight years, Barbara served as chief officer for early childhood education for the Chicago Public Schools, and during the first term of former President Barack Obama, she served as a consultant to the U.S. Secretary of Education. Today, she works to strengthen programs for young children and families by serving on numerous boards and committees, including the board of Presidents Commission for Excellence in African American Education, the Chicago Public Library, and the Great Books Foundation. Additionally, she writes and presents at conferences, addressing issues such as the “cradle to prison pipeline” and the need for systematic changes to ensure equitable opportunities for low-income and minority children.Throughout Erikson’s history, Barbara has been integral in both its leadership and day-to-day operations, serving at various points as vice president, president, and a board member. A past President of the National Association of for the Education of Young Children, Barbara is also the recipient of a recent Honorary Doctorate from Sarah Lawrence College.