Building Connections Between Community Leaders

Community Development Institute works to build local early childhood leadership capacity in communities across the United States and also internationally. CDI serves as a primary administrator of the World Forum Foundation. The World Forum has connected early childhood leaders from around the globe for more than 20 years. This vibrant international network of local early childhood leaders collaborates together to advocate for and support young children.

CDI’s CEO, Mark Elliott, also serves as Executive Director of the World Forum Foundation, and CDI’s team works with partners to support the ongoing administration of the World Forum. The World Forum maintains a network of National Representatives in 100 countries, operates several Working Groups, and regularly convenes large gatherings of international early childhood leaders in events held around the world.

As part of this work with the World Forum Foundation, CDI serves as the secretariat for the Global Leaders for Young Children Program. As a project of the World Forum Foundation, Global Leaders is an advocacy initiative that inspires, empowers, and connects emerging leaders in early childhood development. Since its inception in 2004, more than 200 emerging leaders from 61 countries have participated in the program, with many graduates now playing major roles in shaping the early childhood policies and practices in their countries and regions. Globally and locally, they have become courageous, innovative advocates who stand up to provoke lasting change with children and families.

What We Do

  • Provide leadership and coordination for this global network by working with stakeholders from around the world
  • Work to strengthen leadership capacity in local leaders working in early childhood development programs across the globe
  • Create regular opportunities for cross-country collaboration and the sharing of local innovation to support early childhood programs in local communities
  • Host engaging events that inspire change, innovation, and advocacy on behalf of young children