Libbie Sonnier, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Libbie Sonnier, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children where she leverages her nearly 20-year career supporting young children and their families. Recognized for her tenacity and deep commitment to children, Dr. Sonnier has led teams in system-wide initiatives for the betterment of children, families, caregivers, and practitioners. In her first 18 months with the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children, she helped secure $18M in new early care and education funding in the Louisiana budget and expand access to the state’s Child Care Assistance Program by 85% while doubling the organization’s research and media engagement outputs and securing the organization’s first seven figure grant.


Prior to taking on leadership of the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children, she served as a state director of two federal programs, where she managed multi-million-dollar budgets. She developed and implemented pilot programs for children, birth to age five, in four states across multiple agencies and community partners to improve the efficiency and efficacy of direct services for children and their families. Dr. Sonnier’s experiences conducting longitudinal and experimental research allow her to translate scientific findings into meaningful and practical policies that support better life outcomes for children. She is coauthor of multiple publications and technical reports, training curricula, and, with Drs. Sharon and Craig Ramey, The Four Diamonds Checklist and The Quality System to Achieve Results for Young Children in all Settings (Q-STAR).


Dr. Sonnier is the recipient of the Hulick Serving Spirit Fellowship Award for her commitment to individuals with disabilities across the life course, the Rotary Club’s Extraordinary Woman “Rising Star” Award, a New Orleans City Business 2020 Women of the Year honoree, and a 2020 Leadership Louisiana participant. Dr. Sonnier received a Doctor of Philosophy in human development from Virginia Tech, a Master of Education in early childhood intervention and family support services from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Bachelor of Science in special education with an emphasis in early childhood intervention from the University of Southern Mississippi.



Naar, J.J., Weaver, R.H., Sonnier-Netto, L., & Few-Demo, A. (2019). Experiential education through project-based learning: Sex and aging. Gerontology & Geriatrics Education. 1-13. 10.1080/02701960.2019.1708349.


Naar, J.J., Weaver, R.H., & Sonnier-Netto, L. (2019). Teaching sex and aging to pre-professionals: Experiential learning of a taboo topic. Innovation in Aging. 3. S538-S538. 10.1093/geroni/igz038.1977.

Shivers, C.M., Sonnier-Netto, L., & Lee, G. (2018). Family caregivers of individuals with autism spectrum disorder: Service needs and access across the life course. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities. 15, doi:10.1111/jppi.12272.


Luo, Y., Hetu, S., Lohrenz, T., Hula, A., Dayan, P., Ramey, S.L., Sonnier-Netto, L., Lisinski, J., LaConte, S., Nolte, T., Fonagy, P., Rahmani, E., Montague, P.R., & Ramey, C.T. (2018). The early childhood investment and its impact on social exchange four decades later. Nature Communications. 9, 4705.


Sonnier-Netto, L. & Zvonkovic, A. (2017). Children of the great recession. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 9, 589–592. doi:10.1111/jftr.12221.


Allen, K.R., Molloy, S., Sonnier-Netto, L., Naar, J., & Nelson, L. (2017). Family Ideologies and realities: Still challenging the status quo. Journal of Family Theory & Review. 9, 403-407. doi:10.1111/jtfr.12207.

Ramey, S.L., Ramey, C.T., & Sonnier-Netto, L. (2012). Four diamonds checklist. In C.T. Ramey, J. Sparling, & S. Landesman Ramey, Abecedarian: The ideas, the approach, and the findings (pp. 174 – 175). Los Altos, CA: Sociometrics Corporation.