Senior Advisor

Crystal McClendon-Gourdine, Ph.D

Dr. Crystal McClendon-Gourdine, is an educational consultant lending over 25 years of experience in early childhood, K-12, and post-secondary education to partnerships with non-profit, district, and private early childhood programs. Prior to consulting, Crystal directed a Spanish-immersion family childcare program for 10 years and also served as the Senior Research Associate and Family Childcare Specialist for WestEd’s Center for Child and Family Studies in partnership with several California Department of Education projects. Since that time Crystal provides consultation to early care and learning state and local organizations offering program assessment, professional learning communities and coaching in early childhood through a race equity lens.

Formerly a high school teacher and college professor, Crystal describes herself as a thoughtful guide and mentor to early childhood educators, administrators and stakeholders. Through her masterful coaching and facilitation Crystal has provided direct support in more than 100 infant/toddler and preschool programs. Crystals’ heart to serve others extends far beyond early childhood programs as she actively serves as chair within the local planning council and local chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Crystal’ s passion for serving others also led her to begin a part-time business as a personal fashion stylist  six years ago and has truly transformed her leadership, self-efficacy and tenacity in unexpected, profound ways.

Crystal lives in the Bay Area with her husband and sons. She holds both a doctorate and master’s degree in Human Development/Educational Psychology from University of Maryland, College Park; a master’s degree in Leadership in Early Childhood Education from Mills College; and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Spelman College.