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Staff Bios

Mimi Aledo-Sandoval, M.P.P.
Policy Director

Mimi has a wealth of local, state, and federal experience and a passion for early childhood issues. Before joining the Alliance, Mimi was a Senior Associate on the Pew Charitable Trusts Home Visiting Campaign and the MacArthur Results First Initiative.

Mimi has extensive experience working in state policy and raising awareness among legislators for quality early childhood services. She served as a senior fiscal analyst for the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee, where she prepared and presented annual budget recommendations to legislative committees for the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, the Department of Workforce Solutions, and a number of other state commissions and agencies.

Mimi is a former policy analyst for the Albuquerque City Council, a mayoral fellow with the City of Chicago, an AmeriCorps volunteer, and a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Fellow. In 2013, she was selected an NCSL Early Learning Fellow.

Mimi has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Salem College in North Carolina and a Master degree in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Wendy Elliott, M.P.A.

Wendy supports the Leadership Team and focuses on meetings and internal communications. Wendy is responsible for leading the grant management system.

Wendy has 14 years of experience managing a variety of federal, state and private grants.  For over 9 years Wendy was a senior staff member for Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC), where responsibilities included grants management and program development for 50 sub-grantees.

Wendy has an extensive background working with diverse populations including African American, Hispanic, Somali, Burmese and Vietnamese youth. Wendy has provided diversity training to various youth serving organizations such as Volunteer Centers, HandsOn programs and Boys and Girls Clubs.

Wendy has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Texas Tech University.

Lisa G. Klein, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Lisa brings 10 years of grantmaking experience to the Alliance, having served as the Manager of the Research and Evaluation Department and Vice-President of Early Education at the Kauffman Foundation. 

Before joining the Alliance, Lisa served as Director of Early Childhood at the Kansas Health Institute, conducting research and policy analyses. Prior to this, she served as principal of Hestia Advising, an independent consulting firm focused on design, development, and evaluation to improve programs and policies for young children and families.   

Lisa has 10 years of experience in the not-for-profit community, directing a partial hospital program and providing mental and behavioral health services to young children and their families. 

Lisa has a B.A. from Occidental College and a Master’s degree in Education with an emphasis in psychology from the University of Kansas. She earned a Doctorate degree in psychology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, with an emphasis in child development.  She completed a one-year Post-Doctorate Fellowship at the Menninger Institute in child development and family systems. 

Helene Stebbins, M.P.P.
Deputy Director

Helene has been a part of the Alliance for Early Success since its inception, first as a grantee and now as member of its leadership team. She is responsible for leading the health policy strategy, and also manages a portfolio of investments focused on financing, research, and communications.

Helene began her career in early childhood policy working at the National Governors Association from 1996-2002. As the program director for children and youth policy, she served as a resource to Governors and their senior advisors on child and family policy issues. In 2003 Helene launched HMS Policy Research, an early childhood policy and research firm specializing in the coordination of the health, education, and care of children from birth through age five. Included among her clients are: National Center for Children in Poverty, Committee for Economic Development, Council of Chief School Officers, BUILD Initiative, ZERO TO THREE, Center for Law and Social Policy, and several foundations. Helene has extensive experience working with state policymakers, including Governors, state legislators, and their policy advisors. In 1994, Helene was a Presidential Management Intern for the Food Stamp Program in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Helene earned a Masters of Public Policy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduated cum laude from Carleton College in Minnesota. 

Albert Wat, M.A.
Senior Policy Director

Albert is a part of the Leadership Team, leading a portfolio of state and national Alliance partnerships and investments focused on pre-K and the education continuum birth through grade three. Albert is responsible for leading the learning policy strategy.

Albert was a Senior Policy Analyst in the Education Division of the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, where he worked on early childhood education issues from birth through third grade. Before this Albert was the Research Manager at Pre-K Now, an advocacy campaign at the Pew Center on the States, where he authored a number of policy reports, managed research activities for the initiative, and provided staff and states analysis and information about the latest Pre-K and early education research and policy developments.

Albert brings extensive experience in state policies on literacy and social-emotional development, pre-K access and quality, learning standards, assessments, data systems, and alignment between early learning policies and practices and education reform initiatives, especially in the early elementary years.

In 2014, Albert served on the committee of the Institute of Medicine’s study on The Science of Children Birth to Age 8: Deepening and Broadening the Foundation for Success, which released the report, Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. He is working to support the implementation of the report’s recommendations by sharing its findings and their policy implications with early education organizations and states around the country.

Albert has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Education from Stanford University, and a Master’s in Education Policy from George Washington University.

Nancy McCullough, C.P.A.
Finance Contractor

Nancy is responsible for Alliance financial accounting and monitoring.

Nancy formed e2E, LLC in January 2013 to bring entrepreneurial experience to growing businesses in the Kansas City metropolitan area by providing business management strategies to assist at various life-stages along the path from entrepreneur to enterprise. Over her career, Nancy has worked with a range of business from startups to mid-market enterprises.   

Prior to e2E, Nancy served as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Kauffman Foundation, providing management and oversight in the areas of finance, accounting, grants and contracts administration, risk management, human resources, information technology, and facilities. Nancy also served as the Executive Director for Kauffman Support Services, providing financial, corporate governance, and marketing services to startup and existing non-profit organizations affiliated with the Foundation. Prior to joining the Kauffman Foundation, Nancy spent ten years working with entrepreneurial companies and as a Certified Public Accountant with Ernst & Young, LLP.

Nancy has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Coe College.

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