Moira Kenney, Executive Director

Moira has served as the Executive Director since 2012. Under her leadership, the Association has refocused its efforts on collaborations with other child advocacy organizations and on deepening the engagement of First 5 at the state level.    Prior to joining the Association, she served for four years as the Executive Director of First 5 San Francisco, where she was instrumental in launching the city’s Preschool For All program as well as a number of other key county initiatives.  Prior to her work with First 5, Moira was the Research Director at the Institute for Urban and Regional Development at UC Berkeley, where she oversaw a number of innovative university-community partnerships to support at-risk communities across the Bay Area.  Her background is in public policy and community development; she has a PhD and MA in Urban Planning from UCLA, and a BA from Harvard University.


Margot Grant Gould, Policy Director 

Prior to joining the First 5 Association, Margot was the Communications Director for a member of the California State Assembly, where she also staffed the office on K-12 and early education policy. During graduate school, Margot was an Education Pioneer Fellow and worked on the policy team at Margot previously served on the San Mateo County Child Care Planning Council and on the board of Health Connected, a non-profit charged with delivering sexual health education to youth. She holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Washington and a BA from Bucknell University.

Heather Little,Health Policy and Systems Director

Heather oversees First 5’s comprehensive health and development policy work, and is a leading voice in statewide conversations about improving California’s early identification and intervention system.  As part of her work, Heather participates in key advisory groups such as the Interagency Coordinating Council and the California Statewide Screening Collaborative, and she is also lead for First 5’s Help Me Grow California. She has a Master’s Degree in Special Education and has a deep understanding of the interplay between early learning and health systems for young children.


Jess Berthold,  Communications Director 

Jess collaborates with the communications staff of the 58 county commissions and the state First 5 on messaging, advocacy and information campaigns, media outreach, written materials, social media, and event planning. Prior to working at First 5, she led the communications team at Prevention Institute, a national public health nonprofit. A journalist for 15 years, Jessica was a syndicated columnist and had her work published in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, U.S. News and World Report, and the Philadelphia Inquirer, among others. She has a Master’s in Communications, a Master’s in Public Health, and a Bachelor’s in English and Psychology.


Caitlyn Schaap, Communications Associate

Caitlyn Schaap works with Communications Director Jess Berthold on projects including information campaigns, written materials, social media and more. Prior to working for the First 5 Association, Caitlyn worked for several years in journalism. She served as the Editor of the Ledger Dispatch, a community newspaper in rural Amador County, CA, where she previously served as Lifestyles Editor. Caitlyn holds a BA in English from High Point University in North Carolina.


Shelby Hill,  Operations Coordinator

Shelby is the Operations Coordinator of First 5 Association.  Her solution-oriented approach and skillful handling of communications, schedules, and details keep Association projects on track and executed seamlessly.  Prior to working at First 5, she was a full-time mom to her now 5-year-old son, and assisted entrepreneurs with their start-up office management needs.  Her background is in accounting, including 7 years of providing concierge service to high-net worth clients.  Shelby graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.