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Principal Associate

Adele Robinson brings to Abt more than 30 years of experience in policy development and advocating for children and education, with a focus on early childhood and the early elementary years. From Capitol Hill, national education associations, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to state and local agencies, she has supported the implementation of equitable and effective education as a means of providing success for all of our nation’s families. As a principal associate at Abt, she’ll continue to pursue these goals with our federal clients, as well as at the state and local level, using her expertise in complex policy analysis and strategic technical assistance.

Prior to joining Abt, Robinson served as a consultant with clients at the national, state, and local levels, advising them on early childhood and workforce systems. She was a consultant at HHS, where she drafted new regulations and outreach materials for the Child Care and Development Block Grant and coordinating guidance with the U.S. Department of Education.

The previous 15 years of Robinson’s career were spent at the National Association for the Education of Young Children. As Deputy Executive Director for Public Policy, she led all public policy efforts and staff, including federal lobbying, and served as a spokesperson with oversight of media communications. Specific work included the reauthorization of the Head Start Act, the Child Care and Development Block Grant, Every Student Succeeds Act, Higher Education Opportunity Act, the Higher Education Act; drafting appropriations and budget legislation; and providing technical assistance to states and counties for comprehensive early childhood systems. 

Robinson’s previous jobs at the National Education Association and National Association of State Boards of Education focused on federal and state K-12 education reforms and funding.


  • Complex policy analysis
  • Technical assistance on policy development and implementation with states and local governments
  • Legislative/regulatory drafting


  • “Reflections and Recommendations from Interviews of Eight Early Childhood Policy Leaders of Color: Why Is Everyone at the Policy Tables So White?” (University of Maryland, 2020)
  • “Threats to Social Security Threaten Children Too” (Medium, 2020)
  • “Funding Our Future: Generating State and Local Tax Revenue for Quality Early Care and Education” (BUILD Initiative, 2020)
  • “Taxing Sugary Beverages to Expand Prekindergarten: The Advocacy Lessons of Philadelphia and Santa Fe” (University of Maryland, 2018)
  • “U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Policy Statement on Early Childhood Career Pathways” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2016)
Adele Robinson