Sarah Klaus is director of the Early Childhood Program (ECP) at the Open Society Foundations. ECP advances the rights of children and families that are left behind by empowering parents, professionals and civil society organizations and by building socially-inclusive, transparent systems. Since 2006, she has expanded the program’s original focus in Central Eastern Europe and Eurasia to include Africa, Asia, Latin American and the Middle East.
Over the past two decades, she helped launch Step by Step, the Foundation’s flagship early childhood program, and the International Step by Step Association (ISSA), a network established to support early childhood professionals in Europe and Eurasia. She served as ISSA’s executive director from its inception in 1999 to 2006. ISSA has grown into a leading professional network and advocate for young children and families. Building on the success of ISSA, ECP has gone on to foster regional early childhood networks in Asia, Africa and the Middle East and North Africa.
Prior to joining the Open Society Foundations, Sarah Klaus worked in the former Soviet Union as a guide to an official U.S. exhibition and assisted researchers at the Kennan Institute. She has a Bachelor's degree in Russian Studies from Brown University, a Master’s degree in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University Teachers College and a Doctorate in Education from UCL’s Institute of Education. Her areas of expertise include reaching children and families at risk, especially Roma, and evolution of the early childhood field.