Dr. Wendy Waithe Simmons is the Executive Director New Haven ChILD. She is also a licensed psychologist with more than 25 years of experience working with children and families. Throughout her career, she has been involved in the lives of children and families through teaching, direct clinical service, consultation, program development, and research in both educational and clinical settings. She believes that all children deserve to have the opportunity to have multiple pathways towards success. She has a specific interest in developing and implementing programs for children from a variety of backgrounds who have been experiencing social, behavioral, and/or academic challenges, particularly for children birth through five years of age.
Additionally, she is an Adjunct Professor in the Early Childhood Department at Gateway Community College and a Member of the Expert Advisory Panel for the University of Connecticut’s Pre-K to 3 Leadership Program. Prior to coming to NH ChILD, Dr. Simmons was the Director of Education and Equity at Connecticut Voices for Children (Voices), a research, state policy and advocacy organization. While at Voices she advocated for equitable policies in early care as well as education for children and youth from birth through college and/or career. She was also the Director of the Connecticut College and Career Readiness Alliance and Manager for the Voices’ Associate Policy Fellows Program, a program introducing and supporting recent college graduates to state policy advocacy. For almost 10 years, she worked at the State Education Resource Center (SERC) where she started as a consultant providing professional learning across various settings. Professional learning content included racial equity, special education, positive behavior intervention and supports, school improvement systems and structures, professional learning communities, and data teams, as examples. She had several leadership roles at SERC before becoming the Director for Development, Community Affairs, & Equity as well as the first Director of the SERC Foundation.
Dr. Simmons received her doctoral training at the University of South Carolina and post-doctoral training at the Child Study Center at Yale University. She is an avid reader, wife, and mother of two lovely daughters. She loves to travel and one day hopes to be fluent in French.