Managing Director, Early Learning & Education
Mai serves as Managing Director of Early Learning and Education at United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ) and is best described as our Strong Stalwart for Early Education. Mai is responsible for UWGPSNJ’s strategic initiatives and investments in the early learning community within Greater Philadelphia. Through collaboration and innovation, UWGSPSNJ is leading the charge to expand early learning opportunities for young children throughout our nine-county footprint.
Prior to joining UWGPSNJ, Mai was the Early Childhood Education Policy Director at Children First, leading their advocacy efforts to increase funding for early care and education, expand access to early learning for all Pennsylvanian children, and embed greater racial equity into early learning systems. She started her career in academia, where her research focused on understanding the Black-White achievement gap, the impacts of No Child Left Behind on immigrant children, and two-generation approaches to ending poverty. She lived and worked in New York City for 10 years before moving to the Philadelphia area, bringing with her a decade of expertise in public policy and advocacy.
Mai earned a Master of Social Work degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree in social welfare from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Mai is trained as a researcher and advocate and believes that good public policy must be rooted in sound research and community engagement. Mai is also a committed community leader, having chaired the Human Relations Commission in her previous town.
Mai lives the early childhood life, having attended Head Start as a child, having a mom who was a family childcare provider, and being a mom to two young children. In her spare time, Mai loves to travel with her husband and two kids, even bringing along their bernedoodle on new adventures.