Cathey Huddleston-Casas began work in 2016 as associate director of workforce planning and development. She works closely with Susan Sarver, who directs the Institute’s early childhood workforce development program and plays a lead role in facilitating the Institute’s efforts to better understand needed improvements in early childhood workforce preparation and workplace supports and help build a consensus approach for statewide action. Huddleston-Casas brings a family economic perspective to the Institute and leads the unit's work to document and illuminate the many complex finance mechanisms used to allocate funds to early childhood providers. Huddleston-Casas was a tenured faculty member in the Department of Child, Youth, and Family Studies (CYAF) at the University of Nebraska ̶ Lincoln from 2001 to 2014. Earlier in her career, she served as research coordinator for the HealthPartners Research Foundation in Bloomington, Minnesota, and was a congressional fellow in the office of U.S. Senator Paul D. Wellstone of Minnesota. Huddleston-Casas earned her Ph.D. in family social science from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, and her master’s degree in human development and family studies and bachelor’s degree in psychology, both from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.