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Educare Network Announces Dr. Kara H. Ahmed as Incoming President

July 9, 2024
Updated July 9, 2024

The Educare Network, a national network of comprehensive birth-to-five schools and early childhood champions, is thrilled to announce Dr. Kara H. Ahmed as their new President, starting in September.

Dr. Ahmed is replacing outgoing Executive Director Cynthia Jackson, who has been a transformative and inspirational leader to the Network for over 14 years, the past seven of which in her current role.

Dr. Ahmed’s selection concludes a nine-month national search by the Network’s search committee, comprised of Network leaders including Jamal Berry, President and CEO of Educare DC. “Dr. Ahmed’s knowledge of early childhood education, as a teacher and leader, is unparalleled,” says Berry. “Her vision will lead the Educare Network into the next generation of quality early learning. Educare school leaders are excited to have her lead while we walk alongside her on our continued journey towards greater impact and access for all.”

Dr. Ahmed has spent the last 16 years as a leader in New York City Public Schools, the nation’s largest school system. As Deputy Chancellor of Early Childhood Education since 2022, Dr. Ahmed led a comprehensive birth-o-five mixed-delivery portfolio that included nearly 140,000 children, over 8,000 classrooms and family childcare providers, and thousands of school/program leaders, educators, and multi-disciplinary staff. Dr. Ahmed began her career in education as an early childhood teacher before moving on to administration and leadership, partnering with a diverse group of school districts over her career to support development and sustainment of high-quality early childhood programs. She brings a passion for the mission, has a track record of partnering with and inspiring leaders, and experience setting and implementing a bold vision.   

“Dr. Kara Ahmed has been with me since Day 1 of this administration, and I am immensely grateful to her for her service, dedication, and unparalleled passion for high-quality, equitable Early Childhood Education,” says David C. Banks, Chancellor, New York City Public Schools. “Her commitment to our students and families was evident every single day and in every single interaction. She inherited a portfolio that was focused on quantity over quality, and she saw right away what needed to be fixed, rolling up her sleeves to both stabilize and strengthen this critically important and incredibly complex body of work. I have been consistently impressed by the work happening in our early childhood classrooms across the city; the caliber of teaching and learning is truly incredible, and that is a testament to Kara’s vision and drive.”

As President of the Educare Network, Dr. Ahmed will leverage the Network’s mission and expertise to advance quality early learning through partnership and innovation around practice, policy, and research so every child can thrive. She will drive strategy and continued positive impact across a national network of 25 schools, located in 15 states and the District of Columbia, that partner with historically disinvested urban, suburban, rural, and tribal communities to transform the lives of thousands of young children nationwide. Dr. Ahmed will work in close collaboration with a Board of Directors to impact the early learning field at large, building and stewarding key partnerships and convening and connecting Educare leaders at multiple levels across the country.  

Jessie Rasmussen, Educare Network board member and President of the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, believes Dr. Ahmed’s leadership will position the Network to achieve the ambitious goals set forth in their Strategic Direction: “The Network’s impact is profound not only in the 25 communities that house an Educare school, but also on the broader Early Childhood field. Dr. Ahmed has the right experience and vision to ensure that the Educare network’s growth continues, driven by evidence-based innovation and learning to transform the lives of very young children and families nationwide.”

Educare Network board member and President of Start Early, Diana Rauner, is confident that Dr. Ahmed will further advance the extraordinary impact of the Network on the early education field that was established under Cynthia Jackson’s leadership. “We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Ahmed as our new Network President,” Rauner said. “She is a visionary leader who is poised to propel the Educare Learning Network to unprecedented heights. Together, we will continue to strive for quality improvement and support for our youngest learners and their families. Dr. Ahmed’s leadership and experience will be instrumental in our ongoing pursuit of systemic change in early education to ensure every child enters kindergarten ready to learn.” 

I am profoundly honored to have the extraordinary opportunity to serve as the President of the Educare Network. As a leading organization in our field, Educare is best-positioned to elevate the importance of high-quality early childhood education on a national level and influence policy and reform across the country – and the time is now. I am overwhelmingly excited and thrilled to join Educare colleagues, leaders and partners across the nation to move forward this incredibly important work, together, which will ensure excellence for all children and their families.”
Dr. Kara Ahmed

About the Educare Network

A national network of early childhood champions, Educare is comprised of comprehensive early care and education programs partnering with historically disinvested urban, suburban, rural and tribal communities to transform the lives of thousands of young children nationwide. With 25 schools located across the country, the Educare Network’s mission is to advance quality early learning through partnership and innovation around practice, policy and research so every child can thrive, with a vision of ensuring every family has equitable access to quality early care and education in their community, promoting positive outcomes for generations to come. To learn more, visit