Dr. Cheryl Polk

Ypsilanti, Michigan
United States

Focus Areas

Early Childhood Education
Racial Equity & Healing
African-American / Black Communities
Racial Equity & Healing


In November 2013, Cheryl Polk, KNFP-14, became President of HighScope Educational Research Foundation in Ypsilanti, MI. As a psychologist, she has a long record of success in translating research knowledge about the first five years of life into programs that address the continuum of young children’s needs with specific focus on those who are most underserved. Most recently, as Executive Director of the Lisa and John Pritzker Family Fund, Polk parlayed her dual expertise in early childhood development and philanthropy to guide the creation of groundbreaking intervention programs for children exposed to community and interpersonal trauma. Polk was president of the board of directors of Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families. She completed eight years as an appointed member on the San Francisco Children and Families Commission, a Statewide initiative designed to increase access and raise the quality of services for young children in California. Polk's understanding of the African-American experience has translated to a commitment to children of all cultural backgrounds. As Executive Director of the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, she led the creation of an initiative to raise the standard of services for young Palestinian and Bedouin children by training early childhood providers to help promote father involvement and enhance the mother-child relationship. She holds a PhD in Psychology from Alliant International University-San Francisco. She is licensed to practice psychology in California and Michigan.