Image of PIC_Johnson, Lee.jpg

Lee Johnson III, Ph.D.

Senior Policy Analyst for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, ZERO TO THREE

About Lee Johnson III, Ph.D.

Lee Johnson III, Ph.D., CHES®, IMH-E® is Senior Policy Analyst for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health at ZERO TO THREE (ZTT)—the national leader on infant-toddler policy and program development. There, he works in partnership with the Director of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (I-ECMH) Strategy, federal, state policy, and advocacy leadership staff on a range of policy strategies to support babies’ mental health. Before joining ZTT, Dr. Johnson served as a director at the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education, extending leadership to early childhood mental health and federal and state-funded home visiting efforts. Dr. Johnson is a former early childhood educator, health educator by training, and holds a Ph.D. in public health. His dissertation focused on the impact of early adverse experiences on the mental & physical health outcomes of Black boys & men and the power of relationships, solidified his selection for the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Doctoral Scholars Dissertation Fellowship (2019-2020). In the same year, he became a National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) Policy Fellow (2019-2020). Dr. Johnson's NBCDI Policy Fellowship project, Supporting Resilience in Black Families: Advancing Racial Equity in Early Childhood Mental Health Policy (2021), acknowledges the importance of supporting the health and mental health of Black children and recognizes the need for racially equitable policies and approaches that empower Black families. With a keen understanding of the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), he utilizes his early childhood education and public health research skills to support the global effort to support early learning and positive health outcomes for all children. Lee holds his B.S. in early childhood education, M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in public health from The University of Alabama.