Sarah Rittling is the National Director of the First Five Years Fund (FFYF) where she oversees all policy operations of FFYF and leads advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill and among national early childhood coalitions.
Rittling comes to FFYF after four years as Senior Policy Advisor at EducationCounsel, an education consulting firm, where she was part of a bipartisan education-focused team led by former U.S. Secretary of Education Dick Riley. Rittling has dedicated her career to creating policy change on education issues, with a particular emphasis on early childhood education. She served as counsel to Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., on education policy before the Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions Committee and counsel to Rep. Michael N. Castle, R-Del., on education and labor matters before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Under Sen. Alexander, Rittling was responsible for advancing the Senator’s priorities during the reauthorization of the Higher Education, Head Start and Child Abuse Prevention Treatment Acts. While serving Rep. Castle, Rittling assisted with matters before the Subcommittee on Education Reform, including reauthorization of the National School Lunch and Child Nutrition Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Rittling also served as a legislative assistant and deputy press secretary to Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn.
Rittling holds a Bachelor of Arts from Syracuse University and earned her J.D. from Syracuse University’s College of Law. She lives on Capitol Hill with her husband, Patrick Lyden, and their two young daughters.