Lucy Bassett is a Professor of Practice at the University of Virginia’s Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and co-Director of the Humanitarian Collaborative, an applied research initiative focused on improving humanitarian response. Bassett’s research focuses on understanding how to best support young children in humanitarian and low-income contexts. Her recent work has involved evaluating the impact of programs for refugee and migrant children, assessing training and professional development needs for preschool teachers and school leaders, identifying models for childcare in emergency contexts, and understanding conditions of families and young children on the US/Mexico border. As of Fall 2022, she is launching a new project funded by the Lego Foundation to elevate children’s voices in emergency contexts and share their stories and experiences.

Before joining the University of Virginia, Bassett spent ten years as an education and social protection specialist with the World Bank leading projects and research on education and social protection at the World Bank, in countries from Bangladesh to Haiti and Serbia and Cameroon. Her practitioners’ perspective is further grounded by previous work at UNICEF, the World Food Programme, Save the Children, the International Food Policy Research Institute, and Peace Corps.

Bassett holds many high-level, international advisory roles. For example, she is a member of the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies Early Childhood Development Working Group, Early Childhood Development Action Network Knowledge Fellows Steering Committee, and Research Forum on Early Childhood in Emergencies Steering Committee. She is also expert reviewer for numerous initiatives, such as the Lego Foundation’s Build a World of Play and American Institute of Research’s Scholars and Leaders Awards. In addition to her expertise in global early childhood research and practice, Bassett brings real-world experience as a pre-K teacher.

In addition to her expertise in international early childhood development, education, and childcare, Bassett focuses on feminist approaches to public policy and programming, co-creation and community engagement, and contemplative pedagogy. She won a University of Virginia All-University Teaching Award in 2021.


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