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Social Equity Standing Panel with Institute for Child Success (ICS)

April 29, 2021 @ 02:00:00 pm - April 29, 2021 @ 03:30:00 pm
Eastern Time (ET)

Bolstering Early Childhood Through the American Rescue Plan Act

On April 29th at 2pm Eastern Time the Institute for Child Success (ICS) will partner with the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) to co-host a webinar. This event will highlight how jurisdictions can apply an equity lens when working to deploy the funding coming to states and other territories via the American Rescue Plan Act. Expert panelists will include Gina Adams from the Urban Institute, New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) Commissioner David Hansell, and Leslie Totten with the Tempe Preschool Research Expansion (PRE). They will each share their experiences regarding the impact of systemic inequities in their respective fields, and make recommendations on how the Act’s funds should be used strategically to work against inequities and build lasting change that improves outcomes for children.


Gina Adams

Gina Adams is a Senior Fellow in the Labor, Human Resources, and Population Center at the Urban Institute, where she also directs both Urban’s Low-Income Working Families (LIWF) and Kids in Context (KIC) Initiatives. Her research efforts span a range of issues that affect the well-being of children and families. Her primary focus over her career has been on the broad range of policies and programs that affect the affordability, quality, and supply of early education and child care, and factors that affect the ability of families with lower incomes to access and participate in these services. She also has worked on a broader range of policies affecting children and families, often focusing on breaking down siloes between early childhood/child care policies and the range of other services and systems that support children’s development and family well-being, as well as on understanding the broad range of supports that are needed to stabilize children and families to support healthy development. Prior to joining Urban Institute, she directed child care research at the Children’s Defense Fund, was a policy analyst on children’s issues at the Congressional Budget Office, and was a child care teacher for infants and toddlers and a home visitor for low-income Latino families in Austin, Texas.

Leslie Totten

Leslie Totten has been in the field of early childhood education for over 25 years. Her experience spans from teaching young students in a public school classroom, directing a private preschool and Kindergarten, acting as adjunct faculty for early childhood college coursework, coordinating a new teacher mentoring program at Arizona State University, and overseeing the statewide quality improvement initiative as the Quality First Director at First Things First (Arizona’s Child Development and Health Board). Her current role as the supervisor of the Tempe PRE program with the City of Tempe allows her to utilize all of her combined skills through coordinating efforts with the local school districts, mentoring teachers, supporting quality, and interacting with children and families. Leslie has a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Northern Arizona University, with an emphasis on early literacy and a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Communication from Arizona State University. Her professional activities include serving on the Board of the Valley of the Sun Association for the Education of Young Children, acting as a professional mentor through Southwest Human Development, and presenting at national and international early childhood conferences. Leslie is a native Arizonan and lives in the northeast valley with her husband and is a mother to two successful adult children.

David Hansell

David A. Hansell was appointed Commissioner of the NYC Administration for Children’s Services in February 2017. Commissioner Hansell has committed his career to serving vulnerable communities and expanding opportunity. An accomplished manager, he has decades of experience in social services work across the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

Over the course of his career, he has served as a consultant to non-profit, government, and philanthropic organizations on a diverse array of health and social services policy and advocacy issues, most recently as Head of KPMG’s Human & Social Services Centre of Excellence. From 2009-2011, he served as Acting Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). At HHS, Commissioner Hansell helped oversee a division with an approximately $50 billion annual budget, with responsibilities including child welfare, economic support, early childhood education, and special population programs. He has also served in prior governmental positions in New York City and New York State.


Mary C. Garvey

Mary leads ICS’s impact investing portfolio, and advises on the creation and implementation of strategies that are in line with the principles of equity, inclusion, and anti-racism. She formerly led our Social Innovation Fund-supported Pay for Success (PFS) initiative.

Since joining the team in March 2015, Mary has conducted multiple PFS feasibility analyses for state and local governments across the country. Mary, a native New Yorker, earned a BS degree and a Certificate in Justice and Peace Studies from Georgetown University and completed an MS in Urban Policy Analysis and Management at Milano – New School for Urban Policy in New York City.

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