Kristin Bernhard headshot

Kristin Bernhard

Senior Vice President, Advocacy & Policy

Kristin Bernhard, J.D., leads the advocacy and policy strategy at Start Early, where she oversees the National Policy Team and the Illinois Policy Team.

Prior to joining Start Early, Kristin served as the Deputy Commissioner for System Reform at the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, where she led the implementation of the state’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant, Quality Rating & Improvement System, Early Head Start Child Care Partnership Grant, Early Childhood Integrated Data System and other initiatives to strengthen the state’s early learning system. Her career has also included serving as the education policy advisor to Governor Nathan Deal and time in the policy office of Governor Sonny Perdue.

Kristin holds bachelor’s degrees from the University of Georgia and a juris doctorate from Georgia State University’s College of Law. She was selected as a 2018 Aspen Institute Ascend Fellow and is a graduate of the Governor Zell Miller Foundation Leadership Institute.