Dear First 5 Community, 


After a lengthy and competitive process, the First 5 Alameda County Commission is proud to announce Kristin Spanos as First 5 Alameda County's new CEO.

In partnership with families, providers, and communities, First 5's mission is to support young children, from birth to five, so they arrive at kindergarten healthy, safe, and eager to learn. Ms. Spanos joined First 5 Alameda County in 2015 as Chief Operating Officer to oversee Finance, Contracts, Human Resources, Evaluation and Research, and Program Planning. In her role as COO she has overseen the development of First 5 Alameda County's 2017-2021 Strategic Plan, brought about rigorous focus on program evaluations through Results Based Accountability, and forged relationships with new agencies and community groups.
Before joining First 5, Ms. Spanos served as the Deputy Director for Alameda County Social Services Agency and prior to that she was the Chief of Policy and Community Development for Youth UpRising in Oakland, the Principal Financial Analyst for the City of Oakland, and a Bank Examiner for the Federal Reserve Bank in both New York City and San Francisco. With a Master of Public Administration from NYU's Graduate School of Public Service, her experience in both large systems and grassroots networks makes her well situated to lead First 5 Alameda County's complex and collaborative work.
"I came to First 5 because I believe deeply in what we do," says Ms. Spanos. "I believe our society's success is measured by the well-being of its youngest children. At First 5 we're focused not just on kids, but families, and not just families, but neighborhoods, and not just services, but policies that promote economic opportunity. I can't think of more important work than ensuring all kids, and their caregivers, access joyful learning experiences and family resources in their communities and homes. With the right support, all of the County's children can start school confident, healthy, and ready to learn. It's a thrilling time, with an ever-increasing understanding of the societal return of investment that occurs as a result of programs and policies that support optimal child development. With this understanding comes renewed commitment and support from leaders. I am honored to be entrusted with this position during such a seminal point in the history of the early childhood movement."
Ms. Spanos has strong relationships with agencies and the community, as well as in-depth knowledge of staff and programs that will facilitate the transition. Her first day as CEO is February 3, 2018.
"I feel great about leaving the organization in such strong hands," says retiring CEO Janis Burger, "with incredible staff, strong community connections, and a great Commission. We are well poised to enter the next phase of First 5's evolution."


--Dr. Pamela Simms-Mackey, 
First 5 Alameda County Commission Chair