Who We Are

Tonia Spence

Program Director, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

First Year with IHF:

Focus Areas:
Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

M.S.Ed, Bank Street College of Education
M.S.W., Columbia School of Social Work
B.S., Brooklyn College (City University of New York)

Tonia Spence (she/her/hers) brings to IHF more than 20 years of experience as a clinician, educator, presenter, and advocate serving children and families. She has worked closely with the foundation for many years as a grantee in our Harris PDN Initiative, as a member of the Diversity-Informed Tenets Initiative Advisory Committee, and as a Tenets’ facilitator. She most recently served as the Senior Director of Early Childhood Services at The Jewish Board (JB), where she oversaw Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation, Infant and Early Childhood Clinics, and a Therapeutic Nursery School. Her work at JB was expanded into the area of Anti-Racism organizing, as she supported the Confronting Organizational Racism Initiative and co-led the Administrators of Color.  

As the Program Director, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH), Tonia will advance and lead the IECMH grantmaking program areas, advance and grow the Foundation’s two main IECMH initiatives (PDN and the Tenets), and contribute to the development of a revised grantmaking and impact strategy centered on racial equity and aimed at having a long-lasting impact on the field of IECMH. Additionally, she will work closely with grantees and partners to strengthen existing collaborations, build new ones, and strive to develop the institutions, policies, and structures that will drive the field forward.