Lead Network Design and Innovation Support

Kerrie Urosevich, MA, PhD, is the lead for network design and collaboration for ECAS. She previously served in both Governor Neil Abercrombie’s and Governor David Ige’s Administrations under the Executive Office on Early Learning (EOEL) Before joining EOEL, Kerrie worked for 15 years in systems building, conflict resolution and violence prevention, through her mediation and facilitation consultancy. She was selected to the Omidyar Fellows Executive Leadership program in 2014 to learn strategies for better supporting Hawai`i’s children and families

Kerrie serves as Affiliate Faculty at the Matsunaga Institute for Peace at the University of Hawai‘i-Manoa, and is co-founder of Ceeds of Peace, focused on creating a more peaceful and just humanity. She serves on various Hawai`i-based and international Boards working on early development, education, family resiliency and women’s empowerment opportunities. Kerrie received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Hawai‘i-Manoa; Master’s Degree in International Policy from the Monterey Institute of International Studies; and Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management.


Evidence and Outcomes

Doug Imig, PhD is the lead for evidence and outcomes for ECAS. Previously, Doug directed research and evaluation for the Indianola (Mississippi) Promise Community and was a professor of political science at the University of Memphis.

Doug has also worked as a resident fellow at the Urban Child Institute, as director of Memphis Data Partners for Children and as director of the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis. He has served as a research fellow at the University of Oklahoma’s Infants, Toddlers, Twos and Threes (IT3) Research Center, as a visiting scholar at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and was on the faculty of political science and public administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Doug received his PhD in political science from Duke University. He is the author of books and articles on children’s advocacy, social movement mobilization and political representation.


Lead Network and Policy Support

Jordana Ferreira is the lead producer for ECAS. Jordana brings a keen interest in early brain development and the power of advocacy to improve outcomes for young children and their families. She has long worked in human services, first by providing therapeutic services and community-based interventions to children and youth with special needs. Most recently, she served as Associate Director of PATCH, the State of Hawai‘i’s designated Child Care Resource and Referral Agency.

She also is an active participant on task forces and coalitions focusing on enhancing the quality of care provided to our youngest keiki. She has served on the childcare advisory committee, Hawai`i children’s community council, HCYC (Hawaii career for young children), the Hawaii Children’s Trust Fund Coalition, and she is a member of the board for `Imi Ola Autism Services. She also facilitates Parent Leadership Training Institute courses, teaching participants advocacy skills and encouraging them to be leading voices for our keiki and communities. Jordana believes our keiki are our best investment and is passionate about supporting families and those who touch their lives. Jordana received her BA in Psychology from Pacific University


Jennifer Elia, DrPH

Maternal and Infant Health Lead

Jennifer Elia, DrPH, is the Maternal and Infant Health Lead for ECAS. She has worked in public health and clinical research for more than a decade, most recently on the faculty of the University of Hawai‘i John A. Burns School of Medicine. Through community engagement and qualitative and quantitative methods, her research has focused on pregnancy intention, contraceptive use, and maternal/child health. Jennifer is passionate about better understanding and ameliorating health disparities among Native Hawaiian and other populations, while partnering with community organizations and healthcare providers to improve the accessibility, effectiveness, and cultural relevance of health services, systems, and education.

Raised in rural Puna on the Big Island of Hawai‘i, Jennifer currently lives with her husband and toddler son in Honolulu. Jennifer received her BA in the History of Science & Medicine and her MPH in Health Policy & Administration from Yale University, and her DrPH in Community-Based & Translational Research from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.


Early Childhood Action Strategy Coordinator

Hide Wu is the Early Childhood Action Strategy Coordinator. Hide has been working with youth and families for four years, most recently as the Homeless Outreach Coordinator at People Attentive to Children. She was focused on supporting families and young keiki experiencing homelessness by connecting them with child care, child development, and health related programs and services. Born and raised on Oahu, Hide obtained her Bachelorʻs of Art in Public Health from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, with an emphasis on education for economically disadvantaged youth. Hide is passionate about helping her community and advocating for improving the quality of health, education and care for children.



Ka’ina Bonacorsi, Early Childhood Resource Coordinator, County of Maui

Kanoe Enos, System Innovation Lead, Lili’uokalani Trust

JoAnn Farnsworth, Consultant, Hawaii Maternal and Infant Health Collaborative, Hawaii Association for Infant Mental Health, Child Advocate

Bliss Kaneshiro, MD, MPH,  OBGYN, Professor, University of Hawaii

Stacy Kong, System Improvement Unit Supervisor, Early Intervention Services, Hawai‘i Department of Health

Keiko Nitta, Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Coordinator, Hawai‘i Department of Health

Malia Taum-Deenik, JD, Complaints Liaison & Legislative Coordinator, Hawai’i Department of Human Services


“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children,” Nelson Mandela

- Nelson Mandela


our Timeline

February 2016- Present:   To better bridge the public and private sectors, Action Strategy relocated from the Governor’s Office to Collaborative Leaders Network, the organization that has served as the backbone since 2012.  Collaborative Leaders Network contracts two full-time positions to coordinate the Action Strategy and provides resources to support collaboration.

July 2015:  Executive Office on Early Learning moved to the Department of Education as an attached agency.  EOEL and Action Strategy continued to work closely together.

December 2015:  Incoming Governor David Ige keeps Action Strategy in the Governor’s Office as a neutral location for convening departments and community partners.

July 2014: Action Strategy leaders participated in a Systems Design Innovation Lab to receive mentoring from international Systems Design experts.

January 2014: Work plans, metrics, delivery chains and evaluation rubrics for each focus area were created. 

August 2013. U.S. Education Delivery Institute was contracted to assist in developing planning and governance mechanisms.

January 2013. Hawai‘i’s Early Childhood Action Strategy was launched. Collaborative Leaders Network serves as the backbone organization of the planning and implementation of the Early Action Strategy.

September 2012.  Key strategies and outcomes for each focus area were developed, based on best practice research and identified “levers of change” from the mapping process. Strategies were endorsed by the Early Learning Advisory Board (ELAB).

July 2012. Six focus areas were identified.  Leaders for each of the six focus areas were recruited and over 80 public and private stakeholders invited to participate in working groups to develop a context map of Hawaii’s early childhood landscape.  R. Scott Spann, MPA, and Founder of Innate Strategies facilitated the mapping process.  

May 2012. An early childhood retreat was convened in which State leaders and community partners met with Bill Fulton and Jodi Hardin from the Denver-based Civic Canopy to initiate development of a strategic plan for the Executive Office on Early Learning under Governor Neal Abercrombie.