Valerie Lundy-Wagner

Senior Research Analyst Dr. Valerie Lundy-Wagner joined California Competes in 2018. Well-versed in California’s higher education system, especially career and guided pathways, Dr. Lundy-Wagner has most recently served as an associate research director at Jobs for the Future in the Oakland office. Dr. Lundy-Wagner’s work has informed institutional, regional, and state-level strategies designed to support workforce development and fundamentally focuses on postsecondary completion of meaningful credentials by demographically, academically, and geographically diverse populations. 

Prior to Jobs for the Future, Dr. Lundy-Wagner was a senior research associate at the Community College Research Center. She earned her bachelor's degree in civil and environmental engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, a master's degree in education from Stanford University, and a PhD in higher education from the University of Pennsylvania. She was also a post-doctoral scholar in engineering education at Purdue University and faculty fellow in higher education at New York University.

What motivates you to advance the mission at California Competes?

"I know first-hand what it’s like to have parents and a community champion my success leading to and through higher education; I also recognize that not every individual has had or will have the same support and resources. As such, I’ve devoted my career to conducting and translating higher education research into policy that is designed to ensure people, and especially Californians, of all ages that want to are able to earn meaningful postsecondary credentials. I’m motivated by the gravity of the situation – to have more engaged communities, we must provide more equitable access to higher education credentials and relevant work."