Diana Mendley Rauner is President of Start Early (formerly the Ounce of Prevention Fund), a public-private partnership serving at-risk children and their families from before birth to age five. Start Early advocates for programs and policies that benefit young children and families; provides training to early childhood professionals in Illinois; and engages in rigorous research and evaluation projects that contribute to best practices throughout the early childhood field. Educare, the Ounce's birth-to-five school on Chicago's South Side, has become a national model for narrowing the academic achievement gap for low-income children. In the last 10 years, another 11 Educare Schools have been established across the country, in partnership with the Buffett Early Childhood Fund. Prior to joining the Ounce of Prevention, Ms. Rauner was a Senior Research Associate at Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, where she worked with public agencies and private foundations on the evaluation of programs that support early childhood development. Ms. Rauner has a background in investment banking and private equity and previously worked for private equity investment firms in Chicago and San Francisco.
Rauner received a B.A. from Yale University, an M.B.A. from Stanford University, and a Ph. D. in developmental psychology from the University of Chicago.