About Us

Our Team

Lindsey Bravo, Director of Research and Evaluation

Lindsey Bravo, Ed.D., is the director of research and evaluation at the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute. In this role, she leads the NYC Early Childhood Research Network. Prior to joining the Institute, Lindsey spent 10 years working with the New York City Public Schools to lead and support qualitative and mixed-method evaluations of citywide programs and initiatives — primarily focused on teacher professional learning — from conception to completion. In her tenure and while consulting with NYCPS, she collaborated on formative evaluation projects of programs such as Universal Literacy, Readers on the Rise, the New Teacher Mentor Program, and Learning Partners. Lindsey earned her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from George Washington University. While in Washington, D.C., she taught teacher preparation courses and was a university supervisor at GWU’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development. Lindsey began her career in education as an elementary teacher in Albany County, NY.

Dona Anderson, Executive Director

Dona Anderson is the Executive Director at the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, which is housed at the City University of New York within the Office of Academic Affairs. She leads the work of a dynamic, intelligent, and passionate team dedicated to building essential systems and services to ensure a highly effective early childhood workforce for New York in order to guarantee that all young children and their families have access to excellence. She is responsible for strategic planning, fund development, project growth, and all aspects of the successful management and leadership of the Institute and leads the organizational culture of inclusivity, diversity, teamwork, flexibility, responsiveness, and collaboration. She previously served as Deputy Executive Director at the Institute, where she had programmatic and operational oversight, coordinated internal data collection, evaluation and communication efforts, and represented the Institute at community and university events. Prior to her work at the Institute, she was the Director at the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness, where she led a team of researchers in exploring the impacts of poverty and homelessness on children, students, and families in New York City and across the United States, and served as the Managing Editor for the Journal of Children and Poverty. She also supervised early childhood care and education programs, after school programs, residential summer camps, and a family support program as the Director of Programs and Development at Homes for the Homeless, a homeless services provider. Dona has presented at national conferences and co-authored a variety of public policy reports and a book chapter on the topics of child poverty, homelessness, early childhood, and trauma. She holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a bachelor’s degree from Claremont McKenna College.

Erica Clarke Yardy, Research Associate

Erica Clarke Yardy is a Research Associate with the NYC Early Childhood Research Network. Through this work, she helps facilitate projects that bring together researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and funders for actionable early childhood research. Her work also includes projects that bridge the gap between researchers and practitioners through actively including educators in the research process. Previously, Erica worked for more than a decade as an early childhood teacher. She has a Bachelors in Psychology from the University of the West Indies, a Masters in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is currently a doctoral student in Anthropology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.