Cherie Craft, M.Ed
Cherie Craft, M.Ed, Founder, CEO, and Executive Director of Smart from the Start, studied Sociology and Counseling as an undergrad and holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology. Having grown up in an inner-city housing development in Boston with deep ties to similar neighborhoods in Washington, DC, Ms. Craft herself a mother of five possesses a passionate commitment to working tirelessly to better the lives of under-served children and families and has dedicated her life’s work to shine a light on their incredible strengths. Ms. Craft gained much of her early professional experience working in the Department of Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center, formerly Boston City Hospital. She went on to hold positions in both the public and private sector, having worked for the US Administration for Children and Families as well as in senior leadership positions with community-based organizations.
Ms. Craft is considered an expert in the field of early childhood education, community organizing, cultural competence, and mental health. She has addressed audiences both nationally and internationally presenting a wide range of topics, specifically focused on addressing the social determinants of health and advancing the causes of equity and equality. Ms. Craft served five years on the Boston Children’s Hospital Community Advisory Board, two terms as a member of the National Expert Panel on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare, and for the past 22 years, has been senior faculty with the International Institute for Family-Centered Care. In 2007, Ms. Craft founded a comprehensive, community-based child and family service organization, Smart from the Start, where she currently serves as the CEO and Executive Director.
Ms. Craft also serves on the Washington DC Maternal Mortality Review Committee, and as the Early Childhood Content Expert for the Washington, DC Department of Health’s Maternal/Child Health Committee. She is a member of the NAACP, National Urban League, National Fathers, and Families Coalition, and International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.