Cindy Watkins Named President of the North Carolina Partnership for Children

watkins The North Carolina Partnership for Children (NCPC), the organization that leads Smart Start across the state, announced today that Cindy Watkins has been named as the new President of NCPC.

“I am thrilled to have Cindy’s leadership and expertise at NCPC,” stated Dr. Nancy H. Brown, Board Chair of NCPC. “She has significant experience collaborating across public and private sectors at the state and local levels. In addition to her vast knowledge of early childhood, Cindy’s ability to bring a variety of voices to the table to strengthen our communities will be a great asset to the Smart Start network and the children and families of North Carolina.”

Watkins brings nearly 30 years of experience working with children, families and communities to focus energy and attention on improving the lives of young children. She has over 14 years of non-profit management experience, serving as the Executive Director of three Smart Start Partnerships, including the Person Partnership for Children, the Alamance Partnership for Children, and currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Guilford Partnership for Children. Watkins also served as the Organizational Advancement Director at NCPC where she developed and implemented organizational strengthening and capacity building initiatives with local partnerships, including board and staff leadership development.

Additionally, Watkins worked in the public school system in Virginia and North Carolina both as a teacher and a counselor. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counselor Education from Lynchburg College and Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Mary Washington with a major in Psychology.

Watkins will officially begin as President on April 21, 2014 and be responsible for operations of NCPC and for providing oversight and technical assistance for the state’s early childhood system, Smart Start, including 76 local Smart Start partnerships. Smart Start is North Carolina’s nationally recognized and award-winning early childhood initiative designed to ensure that every child in NC will arrive at school healthy and ready to succeed.