Leadership Team

Kate Warren Barnes

Kate Warren Barnes / Head of Strategic Partnerships

Kate joined Jumpstart in July of 2023 as the Vice President of Policy and Government Relations and is currently serving as the Head of Strategic Partnerships. In this role, Kate embodies the African Proverb – if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together. Kate does this by curating and nurturing Jumpstart’s strategic relationship and movement-building with policymakers, community-based organizations, higher education partners, and early education and care providers, to advance Jumpstart’s equity-focused early education mission. Kate is a social worker and a relentless champion for social justice who has worked to build a more equitable world using relational organizing and policy advocacy to dismantle systemic oppression. For over a decade, Kate has utilized roles in external affairs combined with an inclusive leadership style, to promote movement building in community with children and families to improve health and wellbeing. Examples of this include Kate’s service in policy and government affairs roles at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston Children’s Hospital, the National Association of Social Workers, Massachusetts Chapter, and Harbor Health Services. In service to her community, Kate also serves as a licensed foster care provider and volunteers on several nonprofit boards including the American Civil Liberties Union Massachusetts, and Project Bread, a statewide nonprofit working to solve and prevent hunger in Massachusetts. As a curious lifelong learner and believer that education is a form of liberation, Kate serves as an adjunct professor at Boston University’s Graduate School of Social Work and is a doctoral student at the Sacred Heart University School of Social Work. Kate also holds a master's degree in social work from Salem State University and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Massachusetts. Kate strives to balance work, academics, and community service by finding joy in soul care which includes exploring different health, wellness, and spiritual practices, traveling, vegan baking, and cheering on the New England Patriots.
Ashley C. Williams

Ashley C. Williams / Vice President of Programs

Ashley C. Williams, Ed.D. is the Vice President of Programs where she leads the organization’s workforce strategy to expand the pipeline of qualified, diverse talent pursuing careers in early education. Dr. Williams lends decades of experience to her role as her work over the years is situated in the nexus of early learning, family engagement, higher education, and policy with a specific focus on early educators. She has worked in several roles in early care and education, including serving as a Jumpstart Corps Member and team leader where she started her ECE journey. She continued on to become a preschool teacher, Head Start center director, and early childhood teacher educator at the undergraduate and master’s levels at SF State. She is the former Associate Director of EDvance and served as the Senior Quality and Workforce Analyst for the San Francisco Office of Early Care and Education. Prior to returning to Jumpstart as a part of the organization’s leadership team, Dr. Williams was the Director of California Policy and Educator Engagement Programs for the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment. Her professional work extends internationally as she co-led a study abroad service-learning program in ECE settings in South Africa and New Zealand. Dr. Williams is also a Policy Fellow at the National Black Child Development Institute. Overall, Dr. Williams’ daily work is rooted in contributing to early learning systems in ways that explicitly reveal, dissolve, and resolve systemic inequities that cause harm to children, families, and the educators that work with them- especially when they are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Dr. Williams earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership at SF State where she also earned her B.A. in Child and Adolescent Development and an M.A.Ed. with an emphasis on Early Childhood Education.

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