New Board Oct 22

Virginia Early Childhood Foundation Announces New Board Members

Media Contact: Sara Hunt  |  | 804-994-1120

Richmond, Va. (October 3, 2022) – The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) announces the addition of two new members to the board of directors. VECF is a statewide public-private entity that serves as the non-partisan steward of Virginia’s promise for early childhood success, supporting opportunities for all families with young children to thrive.

Newly-elected board members are:

  • Edmond E. Hughes, Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer of HII, headquartered in Newport News, Va.
  • Bergen Nelson, MD, Pediatrician and Assistant Professor with Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU

Edmond E. Hughes is executive vice president and chief human resources officer of HII. HII is a global defense technologies provider, America’s largest shipbuilder, and Virginia’s largest non-retail employer. Named to this position in 2022, Hughes is responsible for HII’s human resources strategy and all aspects of the company’s HR functions including employee and labor relations, learning and development, talent acquisition and management, diversity and inclusion, and organizational effectiveness among many others. Previously, he was vice president in human resources and administration for HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division. Prior to joining HII, he was director of human resources for the North America Braking & Suspension product line of TRW and his career includes positions in human resources with General Motors and TRW Automotive. A graduate of Tougaloo College, where he serves as chair of the board of trustees, he earned an MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. He served on the board of directors of the Alabama/Mississippi/Louisiana National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Bergen Nelson, MD, MS, FAAP, is a general pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR). She serves in the Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) as Early Childhood Champion and is a member of several statewide and regional boards serving young children in the Commonwealth. Her research and advocacy work for the past 15 years has centered on partnerships between pediatricians and educators, especially as they relate to early childhood development, developmental screening and connections to services for young children with developmental and behavioral concerns. Additionally, Dr. Nelson serves as the Medical Director for Reach Out and Read VA and for the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems grant with the Virginia Department of Health. She will be a key advisor in the 0-5 expansion of the Virginia Mental Health Access Program (VMAP). A graduate of Wellesley College and Harvard Medical School, she was a teacher in a bilingual elementary school classroom for two years in New York City before starting medical school.

“We welcome Edmond and Bergen to our dedicated team of statewide business and community leaders, all of whom are deeply committed to ensuring a strong start for every child in Virginia,” said Liberty University’s Robert Hurt, board chair of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation. “Their expertise in human resources, workforce development, health care and early childhood development will provide valuable perspectives to our important work on behalf of young children and their families in communities across the Commonwealth.”


About the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation: VECF is the non-partisan steward of Virginia’s promise for early childhood success, working in tandem with diverse stakeholders to ensure equitable opportunities for all families with young children to thrive.