Dr. Cathy Grace, director of Early Childhood Development and Policy for the Children's Defense Fund in Washington, will begin a full-time position with the Gilmore Early Learning Initiative (GELI) in Monroe County in June.
Grace previously was director of the Early Childhood Institute at Mississippi State University. She served as a consultant to the Gilmore Foundation when it made a commitment to early childhood education in 2006.
"With Dr. Cathy Grace, we've got the absolute best," said Gilmore Foundation Executive Director Danny Spreitler.
Grace, a Tupelo resident, said she's excited by the opportunity. "The progress that GELI has made is phenomenal," she said.