Robins Foundation is thrilled to announce that Meg Pienkowski, Ph.D., is joining the foundation as Senior Program Officer, Early Childhood Education. A passionate leader and advocate for children and families, Meg brings decades of experience in early childhood education and a deep belief in the power of this work to transform children, families, and communities.
“Meg is an enormously talented leader and a true champion for children,” said Chris Chin, Ph.D., President and CEO of Robins Foundation. “She brings a breadth and depth of knowledge and experience, as well as relationships and credibility from her deep work in the Richmond community. As Robins Foundation advances our strategic focus in early childhood, we are extremely excited to welcome Meg to our team.”
Meg is the former Vice President of Community Partnerships and Programs for Thrive Birth to 5 (formerly Smart Beginnings-Greater Richmond), an affiliate of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation. She also served as a W.K. Kellogg Fellow and Project Management Analyst in the Office of Community Wealth Building for the City of Richmond. Prior to that, Dr. Pienkowski spent many years in the classroom as an educator and administrator with Hanover County Public Schools, Richmond Public Schools, and Gingerbread Cottage Preschool. She began her career as a preschool teacher at the Harold E. Jones Child Study Center at the University of California, Berkeley.
Meg earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Georgetown University, a master’s degree in Developmental Education from the University of California, Berkeley, and her Ph.D. in Education: Curriculum, Culture, and Change from Virginia Commonwealth University.
“I’m thrilled to be joining Robins Foundation because of their strong track record in early childhood education and their commitment to this community,” explained Meg. “We share a belief in the power of early childhood education to change the trajectory of people’s lives and make a significant impact on our communities.”
Robins Foundation envisions a vibrant and unified Richmond, in which our children are prepared for bright futures, our communities are culturally enriched, and our region grows as a positive and dynamic place to live. For children to have the best opportunity to thrive, they require access to high-quality early care and educational experiences, as well as stable families who can act as their first teachers. Robins Foundation’s work in early childhood education is focused in three areas: provider support and infrastructure, parenting support and engagement, and policy and advocacy.
“Robins Foundation has sought out the foremost leaders in the field of early childhood education to support our work,” explained Juliet E. Shield-Taylor, Chair of Robins Foundation’s Board of Directors. “Meg’s impeccable academic background speaks for itself, and her dedication and contributions to our community have earned her the trust and respect of early childhood professionals throughout our region. For anyone who has the chance to meet her, Meg’s passion as an advocate for children is clear. We can’t wait to see the impact she will make in this role.”