Founder & President Sam Beard
A Legacy of Service – Building a Better Future for All
Sam Beard is a social entrepreneur and public servant who has dedicated his life to making a difference in the world. He has created and chaired public service programs for the past eight U.S. Presidents over the last half-century. Sam formed GIFT CONNECT serve as a crucial bridge between innovators, policymakers, educators, and the general public to push the strongest policy imperative to reverse poverty: Birth to Three.
Sam has served on the boards of directors of numerous organizations. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He began his career working with U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a low-income community in Brooklyn, New York. He focused on social justice issues such as poverty and discrimination.
Then, working with Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, Beard led the NDC to work with mayors in 100 cities and governors in 30 states to train 100,000 economic development professionals, and created 1,000 local development corporations. He helped break through the Baltimore financial system to show how them to partner with government programs and flow capital into low-income communities.
Beard co-founded the Jefferson Awards with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Robert Taft Jr. The Jefferson Awards, now called Multiplying Good, recognize and celebrate individuals and organizations who are making a difference in their communities and the world.
Most developed countries spend $10,000/child on ECD while the U.S. only spends $500/child.
Further, according to UNICEF, only 1% of education funding in the developing world goes to early childhood development. We’ve focused so much on fixing the symptoms instead of the root cause — the underinvestment in the developmental resources for children from birth to age three; a time when most of the cognitive functions of the brain are formed and create a blueprint of well-being for the rest of their lives. Simply not enough people, leaders, and organizations know about the revolutionary science and transformational behavior change practices and the connection to poverty. But we can change that — together.
In 2022, over 26,000 parents and caregivers attended our events to learn about the brain science and loving habits behind birth to three.