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About Anne Douglass

Anne Douglass, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Early Education and Care at the University of Massachusetts Boston where she directs the Bachelor’s degree program in Early Education and Care in Inclusive Settings, and the Post-Master’s Certificate Program in Early Education Research, Policy, and Practice. In 2014, she led the development of an innovative new Ph.D. program in early childhood education and care.  The program launched in 2016 and will prepare the next generation of leaders and scholars in the rapidly advancing field of early education. Dr. Douglass is the founding Executive Director of the Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation at UMass Boston.

Dr. Douglass’s research focuses on family engagement, policy and systems change, professional development and quality improvement, and organizational change and leadership, all in the early care and education sector.  She studies relational organizational systems, and how they contribute to early educators’ capacity to apply new knowledge to improve their teaching practices and their partnerships with families.  Her leadership research examines the design of programs and systems to support individual and collective leadership for improvement and innovation from within the early education field. Her current research includes a study of a Breakthrough Series Collaborative intervention to promote trauma-informed practices in urban child care centers.  A primary focus in her work is how early childhood organizations preserve and promote caring, relationship-based practices in the increasingly standardized world of early education and care.  Dr. Douglass applies relational bureaucracy, relational coordination, and positive organizational scholarship perspectives in her work. Her research has been published in a wide range of academic journals, including Academy of Management Review, Journal of Early Childhood Research, Early Education and Development, and Early Childhood Research and Practice.

Dr. Douglass brings 20 years of expertise as an urban early educator to this work.  She worked in Boston child care, Head Start, and school-based early education programs as a teacher, administrator, trainer, and organizational consultant, and as a family child care provider.  Most notably, she developed and directed an early childhood program at a shelter for homeless families in Boston for eight years.  She received her PhD from the Heller School for Social Policy at Brandeis University, her master’s degree in education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and her bachelor’s degree in political science from Wellesley College.


Present Program Director, Bachelor’s and Post Master’s Certificate Programs in Early Education and Care, CEHD, University of Massachusetts Boston
Present Associate Professor, Early Education and Care, University of Massachusetts Boston

Curriculum Vitae

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  • ECHD 459: Administration and Supervision of Early Childhood Programs
  • ECHD 317: Professional Ethics in Early Care and Education
  • ECHD 704: Leadership and Change in Early Care and Education

Contact Information

Office: 617-287-7675


Research Works (17)

Recent Works (3)