Bringing in new perspectives for the early years

Published September 22, 2020

Andrea Torres and Ankita Chachra, two professionals with global experience and ebullient energy for the importance of the early years have joined the Bernard van Leer Foundation’s management team. In their respective roles as Programme Director and Knowledge for Policy Director, both women will lead strategic areas of work as we tackle head-on the adverse impacts the Covid-19 pandemic has had on babies, toddlers and caregivers around the world.

Programme Director Andrea Torres, pictured left, and Knowledge for Policy Director Ankita Chachra, pictured right.

Andrea Torres, Programme Director, was previously our Senior Early Childhood Specialist before stepping into the role of Programme Director in January. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was the National Coordinator of Chile Crece Contigo (“Chile grows with you”), the comprehensive protection system for early childhood development, at the Ministry of Social Development, from 2010 to 2012 and 2014 to 2018. She has over 20 years of experience managing and implementing social public policies and programmes and over 10 years of experience in the early childhood development field with government ministries, the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank.

Ankita Chachra, Knowledge for Policy Director, joined us in September from our partner NACTO’s Global Designing Cities Initiative (GDCI), where she addressed street and public space challenges through design implementation and supported cities to build capacity in applying tools and strategies for creating people-oriented streets. She found her passion for prioritizing the needs of children and caregivers in urban environments while leading the production of the Designing Streets for Kids publication under the Streets for Kids programme. She was also one of the core contributors to the Global Street Design Guide.

Combining their unique expertise in early childhood development and equitable urban environments, Andrea and Ankita will join forces to think creatively and take action to scale ideas that have the biggest potential for giving all children a good start in life.