Aressa Coley is a Senior Technical Assistance Specialist at Anlar, providing process and project management and content expertise on early childhood projects. Aressa helps leaders solve their most complex program, systems, and process challenges through her work. Her strengths include employing strategic intent to assess needs, lead strategic thinking and decision-making, and designing customized implementation plans tailored to meet clients’ unique contexts and their goals for their education, health and wellness, and social service systems.
While completing her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, Aressa led the development of Mississippi’s first early childhood state plan and has been in love with systems-building work ever since. Before joining Anlar, Aressa provided technical assistance expertise to build the capacity of state-, local-, and community-level organizations to design and execute holistic solutions that build community resiliency and support the best outcomes for children and families. During her tenure at WestEd, Aressa served as the Director of Early Childhood Integrated Systems and Policies. In this role, she provided leadership to projects that support states in designing and enhancing their early childhood system, including leading two iterations of California’s Birth through Five Preschool Development Grants (Initial and Renewal), facilitating California’s Early Childhood Policy Council, and serving as a leader and writer for California’s Master Plan for Early Learning and Care. Aressa also holds a B.S. from Mississippi State University.
When she’s not working, you can find Aressa singing (with performance groups or to her dog), hiking, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. She also enjoys discovering new recipes online or in restaurants and re-creating them at home. Her toxic trait is that she is 100% convinced that she can execute every DIY project she comes across on social media effortlessly on the first try.