PRESS RELEASE: National Black Child Development Institute Appoints Dr. Lee Johnson III as its Vice President of Policy

Silver Spring, MD, October 3, 2022: The National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) is pleased to announce Lee Johnson III, Ph.D., CHES®, IMH-E® has joined its leadership team as Vice President of Policy. In his new role, Dr. Johnson will develop and lead NBCDI’s preeminent advocacy and thought leadership initiatives, distinguished research and publications, and equity-advancing public policy and legislative agenda.

Prior to his appointment, Dr. Johnson served in leadership roles where he built strategic partnerships focused on improving the quality of life for future generations, including director at the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education, the first state director at First 5 Alabama®, Alabama’s Association for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, senior policy analyst for infant and early childhood mental health at Zero to Three, and as a former NBCDI Policy Fellow. “Beginning this new leadership chapter with the National Black Child Development Institute, I am excited to bring a decade of experience in policy analysis, innovation, and advocacy in early childhood education and public health,” shared Dr. Johnson.

“We are elated to have Lee join our team. We see his depth of experience as critical to the work we do for Black children and families across the country. Having already been a part of the NBCDI, as a Policy Fellow, and most recently as a part of our strategic planning team, he knows well where we are and where we're going,” said NBCDI President and CEO Dr. Leah Austin, praising the decision.

Dr. Johnson is a Certified Health Education Specialist and holds an Infant Mental Health Endorsement®, an internationally recognized credential for his commitment and work with infants, toddlers, and families. He earned a B.S. in early childhood education, M.A., and Ph.D. in public health from The University of Alabama. His dissertation focused on the impact of early adverse experiences on the mental and physical health outcomes of Black boys and men and the power of relationships, which solidified his selection for the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Doctoral Scholars Dissertation Fellowship (2019-2020).

About National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI):
National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) is a leading research-based, nonprofit organization focused on addressing the unique challenges faced by Black children and families. It has been at the forefront of engaging leaders, policymakers, professionals, and parents around critical and timely issues that directly impact them. NBCDI is a trusted partner in developing and delivering strengths-based, culturally relevant, evidence-based, and trauma-informed resources that respond to the unique strengths and needs of Black children around issues, including early childhood education, health and wellness, literacy, and family engagement.