‘Early Childhood Mental Health Expert’ Selected to Lead The Florida Center

The Florida Center for Early Childhood’s Board of Directors has selected Dr. Kristie Skoglund, Chief Operating Officer of the organization, to lead the agency. She will replace longtime Chief Executive Officer Kathryn Shea next month.

“There is no one more deserving of this position,” said Jeff Woodin, Board Chair. “Kristie has worked for The Florida Center for more than 20 years, climbing the ranks from counselor to early childhood expert.”

The Board of Directors unanimously voted to promote Skoglund on August 13, after determining she was best suited for the position.

“I truly love the work of The Florida Center and I am humbled and honored to be chosen as the next CEO,” Skoglund said. “I definitely have some big shoes to fill! Kathryn has been an amazing leader who always encouraged me to grow and learn.”

Skoglund has a master’s degree in counseling and psychology and a doctorate degree in counseling. She has expertise in the areas of infant/young children’s mental health, trauma informed care practices and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and has presented workshops on various related topics at local, state and national conferences.

In 2019, Skoglund became one of the first people in the State of Florida to be endorsed as and Early Childhood Mental Health Expert through the Florida Association for Infant Mental Health.

Skoglund also made history in 1997, when Sarasota became the first county in Florida to privatize child welfare. She was hired as one of the first mental health counselors to work with young children in a foster care system. She completed the 18-month infant mental health training through Florida State University’s Harris Institute, and in 2003 she received specialized fetal alcohol spectrum disorders diagnostic training through the University of Washington.

Skoglund will officially start in her new capacity on September 14. Shea will stay on as a part-time consultant to ensure a smooth transition.

“While I am about to retire and enter the next chapter of my life, I go knowing that The Florida Center is in great hands with Dr. Kristie Skoglund,” said Shea. “Her vast knowledge and experience prepares her well to be the agency’s next CEO.”