A Moment With...
Dr. Jamilah R. Jor'dan
Executive Director of the Illinois Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development
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A Moment With Dr. Jamilah R. Jor’dan

What is “A Moment With”? The Women’s Business Development Center is pleased to continue with our series, “A Moment With”, where we periodically highlight some of our greatest supporters and partners, sharing their career experiences and advice. This month, we will be highlighting Dr. Jamilah R. Jor’dan, Executive Director, Illinois Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development.


Meet Dr. Jamilah R. Jor’dan: Jamilah R. Jor’dan, PhD., serves as the executive director of the Illinois Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD). Dr. Jor’dan has over 30 years of experience in the field of early care and education and has served in various leadership and service positions. Dr. Jor’dan served as the interim dean of the College of Education and tenured professor in the Department of Early Childhood and Bilingual Education at Chicago State University, and she has served as a Head Start assistant executive director, as the accreditation project director and interim executive director of the Chicago Metropolitan Association for the Education of Young Children. Dr. Jor’dan was president of the Partnership for Quality Child Care, a $16 million-dollar public/private partnership that supported a city-wide accreditation facilitation initiative in Chicago that helped both center-based and family child-care providers.

 A Lesson

We asked: Tell us about a piece of advice you received from a mentor that has helped you succeed.
Dr. Jamilah R. Jor’dan shared: Barbara T. Bowman, one of Erikson Institute’s co-founders, has served as one of my mentors throughout my career in early childhood education. Early in my career, Barbara shared with me the importance of voice, vision, and visibility. You have to speak up, know what you want the outcome to be, and show up!

A Turning Point

We asked: Where do you look to for inspiration?
Dr. Jamilah R. Jor’dan shared: We’re surrounded by nature and its power to teach us about life, and I look there for inspiration. I enjoy being outdoors, and I stress “being”. Nature provides an opportunity to disconnect from distractions, quiet my mind, and center my soul. It’s in these moments that I always find clarity and inspiration.

A Guidepost

We asked: What is your favorite quote?
Dr. Jamilah R. Jor’dan shared: One of my favorite quotes is from Dr. Maya Angelou. “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style. Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”


Thank you, Dr. Jamilah R. Jor’dan, for participating in “A Moment With”; we are proud to call you a loyal friend of the WBDC.

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