Cradle to K Cabinet Members
Mayor Hodges’ Cradle to K Cabinet includes a range of experts, community leaders, scholars, educators, and parents.
Peggy Flanagan, Executive Director of the Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota, and Carolyn Smallwood, Executive Director of Way to Grow, lead the work of the cabinet as co-chairs.
Peggy Flanagan joined the Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota as its Executive Director after eight years with Wellstone Action. An active community member, Flanagan served on the Minneapolis Board of Education from 2005 to 2009, becoming the first Native American and youngest individual to serve on that board. She also was on the Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board. Flanagan is a citizen of the White Earth Nation of Ojibwe and a nationally recognized expert in nonpartisan voter mobilization and civic engagement, especially with Native American communities and people of color. She is a 2002 graduate of the University of Minnesota and holds a bachelor's degree in American Indian studies and child psychology.
Carolyn Smallwood has been the Executive Director of Way to Grow since 2004, where she has pledged to be the voice for all Twin Cities children. She is a leader in the field of early education, serving as a board member for the United Way's Early Learning Committee and as an advisory board member of the University of Minnesota's Center for Early Education and Development. Currently she serves on the Governor's Early Learning Council. Smallwood is passionate about working with diverse communities and recognized for her inclusive leadership style and strong executive experience. She was once the vice president for Sales and Marketing at Twin Cities Rise! and executive director of the Minnesota Minority Supplier Development Council. Prior to entering the nonprofit field, she was a senior executive with ADC, the Broadband Company, and business banker at U.S. Bancorp.
Carolyn Smallwood, Co-Chair
Executive Director of Way to Grow
Peggy Flanagan, Co-Chair
Executive Director Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota
Director of the Office to End Homelessness
Director, Office of Early Learning at the Minnesota Department of Education
Director of Networks and Education Policy, Generation Next
Pamela Gigi Chawla, M.D.
Senior Medical Director of Primary Care Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Executive Director, Domestic Abuse Project
Executive Director of the Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board
Teresa Diaz Barcenas
Parent, Joyce Preschool
Family Academy Director, Northside Achievement Zoe
Senior Vice President, Systems Change & Innovation, Greater Twin Cities United Way
Parent Representative, Way to Grow
Parent Representative, Northside Achievement Zone
Director, Visible Child Initiative at the Family Housing Fund
Chief Officer of Strategic Alliances at Harvest Network of Schools
Executive Director and CEO of Neighborhood Health Source Clinic
Executive Director of The Sheltering Arms Foundation; Member of Start Early Funders Group
Professor, Education Psychology, University of Minnesota
Senior Human Services Manager, Hennepin County
Director of Minneapolis Health Department
Senior Fellow and Co-Director of Human Capital Research Collaborative, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
Executive Director, Early Childhood Education, Minneapolis Public Schools
Assistant Professor, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota
Jen Van Liew
Executive Director and CEO of Minnesota Visiting Nurse Agency
President and CEO, Think Small: Leaders in Early Learning; Chair, Governor’s Early Learning Council
Vice President of Early Childhood Education, YWCA
Senior vice president of Government and Community Relations, HealthPartners
Last updated Feb 27, 2015