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Name: Perry, Kris
Current Position: Former Executive Director

Kris Perry, who became the second director of First 5 California in July 2005, left in August 2012 to head the national First Five Years’ Fund. She was succeeded by interim Executive Director Reneé Webster-Hawkins, who served until the selection of Camille Maben in November 2012.

Perry received her bachelor of arts degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a masters degree in social work from San Francisco State University.  Perry also completed the Stanford Graduate School of Business executive program for nonprofit leaders in 2003. She is a licensed clinical social worker.

Perry worked for about 12 years for the Alameda County Social Services Agency in a variety of roles including child abuse investigator; she was program manager from 1997-2000.  Perry then served as First 5 San Mateo County’s executive director before becoming First 5 California executive director.

In 2008, the newly elected Obama-Biden team invited her to Washington, DC, to talk about early education for children.  She is a co-chair on the state’s Early Learning Advisory Council and a member of the California Early Learning Quality Improvement System’s advisory committee.

In 2010, Perry and her partner joined a lawsuit seeking to overturn California’s 2008 same-sex marriage ban, Proposition 8. In 2009, a federal judge overturned Prop. 8 in Perry et al. v. Schwarzenegger et al.—now commonly known as Perry v. Brown—although the case continued through the appellate process.

In addition to her work with First 5 California, Perry took the position in 2011 of co-chairman of the Albany Music Fund, a fund-raising organization dedicated to music education in Albany, California, schools.

In an interview, Perry was asked what her idea of a perfect world would be.  Her answer?

“A perfect world is one in which kids hear early and often that they are wonderful and important, so that they have no desire to exclude or demean anyone else, and embrace uniqueness and  achieve their greatest potential.”

Her motto? “That which gets measured, gets done.”

Perry lives in Berkeley, California, with Sandy Stier, information technology director for the Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services Agency. They are the parents of four boys.


Official Biography (First 5 California website)

First 5 California Executive Director (California Department of Education)

Champion Profile:  Introducing Kris Perry: Executive Director of First 5 California (First 5

Water Cooler Conference (pdf)

Prop 8 Plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandra Stier (by Karen Ocamb, LGBT/POV)

Perry v Schwarzenegger Becomes Perry v. Brown (Prop.8 on Trial)

Kris Perry–Executive Director of First 5 California (LinkedIn)

Kris Perry & Sandy Stier (American Foundation for Equal Rights)

Perry v. Brown (Respondents’ brief to California Supreme Court) (pdf)

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