Faculty & Staff

Anne Douglass

Associate Professor, Founder and Executive Director, Program Director, Bachelor’s and Post Master’s Certificate Programs in Early Education and Care, CEHD
Founder and Executive Director, Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation


photo of Anne  Douglass

Additional Information

Anne Douglass, PhD, is associate professor of early childhood education and founding executive director at the Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She has been designing and leading innovative academic and leadership development programs for early educators at UMass Boston since 2009. Her institute cultivates and supports the entrepreneurial leadership of early educators and child care business owners, and produces cutting-edge research on leadership, innovation, and change in early education. 
Douglass is an expert on leadership, quality improvement, and professional development strategies and policies that promote talented, diverse, entrepreneurial leadership from within the child care workforce. She is the author of a new book entitled Leading for Change in Early Care and Education: Cultivating Leadership from Within. She studies relational organizational theory to understand how workplace relationships and organizational structures can positively influence early educators’ capacity to improve teaching practices and build partnerships with families.  She brings extensive research and professional development expertise in the areas of family engagement and support, STEM teaching and learning, and instructional leadership. She is co-author of the book Engaging young engineers: Teaching problem-solving skills through STEM, published in 2015.
Since 2009, she has been awarded over $8 million in external funds to support research and training projects in which she serves as the principal or co-principal investigator.  Her research has been published in a wide range of academic journals and books, and she presents nationally and internationally at academic, policy, and professional meetings.  
Currently, she teaches an undergraduate course entitled Teaching Superpowers – The Science of Building Resilience in Early Care and Education, and the following graduate courses: Leadership and Change in Early Care and Education, and Instructional Leadership and Quality Improvement in Early Childhood Education.
She brings almost 20 years of expertise as an urban early educator to this work, as a teacher, administrator, family child care owner and educator, and quality improvement coach and mentor. Her experience as a practitioner working directly with children, families, and teachers informs her deep respect for the expertise of early educators as the drivers of transformative change in early childhood programs and the profession. She earned a PhD in social policy at the Heller School at Brandeis University, an EdM at Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Wellesley College.