Valerie Lundy-Wagner

Since joining in 2018, Senior Research Analyst Dr. Valerie Lundy-Wagner has been responsible for developing, executing and managing California Competes’ research agenda to advance the organization’s policy advocacy. Though currently focused on the California context, Dr. Lundy-Wagner brings national expertise from her work as an associate research director at Jobs for the Future, senior research associate at the Community College Research Center, and a faculty member at New York University. 

Dr. Lundy-Wagner’s work has informed institutional, regional, and state-level strategies designed to improve equitable attainment of postsecondary credentials and workforce development. She has co-authored a book, authored or co-authored a number of policy briefs and peer-reviewed articles (e.g., Journal of Higher Education, Journal of Negro Education, and Teachers College Record), and contributed to multiple edited volumes. Dr. Lundy-Wagner currently serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education and the 2021 Aspen Prize’s Data/Metrics Advisory Panel. 

Dr. Lundy-Wagner 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.

What motivates you to advance California Competes' mission?

"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."

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