First 5 Marin is delighted to welcome Maria Niggle as our new executive director! Maria has a wealth of experience with First 5 Marin, across Marin County and with countless community partners—along with an absolute dedication to equity of opportunity for every single child in Marin. She served as the chair of our commission from 2020 through early 2023, but also worked for First 5 Marin as a school readiness coordinator in West Marin many years ago. Most recently, Maria was the Director of Early Childhood and Community Collaboratives at Marin Promise Partnership, advocating for equitable, systemic change in Marin County Schools to support all children from cradle to career— including enthusiastic support for the “Community Schools” movement. She previously served as a social worker for the County of Marin, a “promatora” (health promoter), and as the Director of Strategic Research for WestEd. Maria was the co-founder of “Abriendo Caminos,” an immigrant leadership program and served as the chair of the West Marin Collaborative. She has a robust background with early childhood education research, data analysis, collective impact and results-based program evaluation. Maria earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science Interdisciplinary Studies from San Francisco State University and Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Child Welfare from Columbia University. Maria writes that her goal is to “ensure every child in Marin has a healthy start, a head start, a fair start, a safe start in life with the help of caring families and communities” as stated by Marian Wright Edelman from the Children’s Defense Fund. First 5 Marin is enthusiastic about the future under Maria’s leadership!