Press

National Head Start Association Congratulates Newly Appointed Office of Head Start Director

February 23, 2021

Dr. Bernadine Futrell, NHSA Senior Director of Effective Practice, appointed to lead the Office of Head Start

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Head Start Association (NHSA), a not-for-profit organization supporting the Head Start and Early Head Start community, today congratulated Dr. Bernadine Futrell, the association’s former senior director of effective practice, on her appointment as the Director of the Office of Head Start within the Biden-Harris Administration’s Department for Health and Human Services. Dr. Futrell is the first Head Start alumna to be appointed into this critical role overseeing the federal Head Start and Early Head Start program.

“The National Head Start Association congratulates our dear colleague Dr. Bernadine Futrell on her appointment to the helm of the Office of Head Start,” NHSA Executive Director Yasmina Vinci said. “Dr. Futrell, herself a Head Start graduate and a testament to the strong foundation the program lays for success in school and in life, is a mission-driven, innovative leader and we look forward to working with her to continue taking Head Start to new heights.”

Vinci continued, “Over this past tumultuous year, the Office of Head Start has provided its programs with guidance and flexibility that enabled them to support children and families through unprecedented challenges. During this time, Dr. Futrell played a critical role as a member of the NHSA team listening to and supporting all levels of the Head Start community—parents, educators, health support staff, and program leaders—in order to tackle the unique challenges facing their communities. We know that many challenges still lie ahead, and we look forward to continued collaboration with Dr. Futrell in her new role and with the dedicated Office of Head Start team to see Head Start staff and families through them and into even greater success beyond.”

Dr. Futrell stated, “During an unprecedented year of significant challenges, I had a front-row seat to witness the resolve, strength, and brilliance of our Head Start community while at NHSA. Now, I am so grateful to have been called to lead the remarkable efforts at the Office of Head Start in unity, truth, and love. Considering what to do next, I cannot help but to think back to all of those who inspired, encouraged, and directed me to opportunities that gave me a hope of what the future could be. You do this every day in your programs and communities. In this role, my dedication is to ensure that our Head Start community feels supported and has everything needed to accomplish the great work that ensures that every Head Start child and family feels loved, supported, and encouraged to accomplish everything that they set out to do.”

The National Head Start Association is a not-for-profit organization committed to the belief that every child, regardless of circumstances at birth, has the ability to succeed in school and in life. The opportunities offered by Head Start lead to healthier, empowered children and families, and stronger, more vibrant communities. NHSA is the voice for more than 1 million children, 270,000 staff, and 1,600 Head Start grantees in the United States. Visit www.nhsa.org and follow @NatlHeadStart for more information.

# # #