the Ounce: News and Resources

The Ounce of Prevention Fund welcomes new president

January 1, 2011

Diana Rauner, PhDThe Ounce of Prevention Fund welcomes Diana Mendley Rauner, PhD, as its new president, effective Jan. 1, 2011. Rauner previously served as Executive Director since 2007, and as a board member for five years before joining the staff.

Rauner has overseen the expansion of the Ounce's Early Head Start program and the advocacy work that maintained Illinois' funding for early childhood programs during the worst economic crisis in the state's history. Rauner also was instrumental in launching several new training and research initiatives. She served as co-chair of the Campaign for Early Learning, which has raised millions of dollars for the Ounce's endowment, program expansion and the construction of the Educare Family and Training Center, due to open later this year on Chicago's South Side.

"Diana has already established herself as an effective and innovative leader, and we are looking forward to her tenure as President," said Dick Rothkopf, chairman of the board of directors.

Rauner succeeds Harriet Meyer, who has served as president of the Ounce for 20 years. During her tenure, Meyer established the Ounce as a national leader in advocating for and providing early childhood education.

"Harriet Meyer has been instrumental in making early childhood education a part of the national dialogue and establishing the Ounce of Prevention Fund as a policy and program expert," said Dick Rothkopf, chairman of the board of directors. "We are thrilled that Diana Rauner will be carrying on the work that Harriet has so ably begun."

After she steps down as president, Meyer will head Strategic Initiatives at the Ounce. In her new role, she will continue her work on the national expansion of Educare schools for young children in poverty and on consultation work with state advocacy groups to improve early childhood programs and policies across the country.

During her tenure, Meyer helped fight for and secure the passage of Preschool For All, which made Illinois the first state in the country to offer high-quality, voluntary preschool for all 3- and 4-year-old children, while also providing services for at-risk infants and toddlers. Meyer co-chairs the Illinois Early Learning Council, the first coordinating council for young children to be housed in an Illinois governor's office.

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