Julie Nicholson

Deputy Program Director, Center for Child & Family Studies, and Co-Director, Trauma Informed Practices in Early Childhood Education

Julie Nicholson
Julie Nicholson serves as Deputy Program Director with WestEd's Center for Child & Family Studies (CCFS), where she leads new projects and product development efforts, manages and supports staff, and further builds CCFS as a leader in the early childhood development field. Nicholson is also Associate Professor of Practice in the School of Education at Mills College. While at Mills, Nicholson directed the Leadership Program in Early Childhood; co-directed the Joint MBA/MA Educational Leadership Program; chaired the early childhood department; and established and directs the Center for Play Research, which examines issues of equity and social justice related to play including children's rights to play, and cross-cultural and global perspectives on play. Also while at Mills, Nicholson created and co-led a professional learning community to support leadership development among early childhood professionals that is featured in the California Department of Education Early Childhood Educator Competencies videos on professionalism. Nicholson’s research and publications emphasize social justice and equity in several areas including leadership development, play across the lifespan, trauma-informed practices, assessment in early childhood education, and gender-inclusive pedagogy. She regularly gives keynote presentations across the U.S. and internationally, and has participated on local and state-level policy committees addressing child care and early care and education. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Association for Childhood Education International. Nicholson received a BA in liberal studies and a California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential (K-8) from Loyola Marymount University, MA in education from the University of Michigan, MA in developmental psychology from San Francisco State University, and PhD in early childhood education from the University of Michigan.