Jessa Valentine - Senior Learning and Impact Officer
Ascendium’s Education Philanthropy team continues to grow with the newest addition of Dr. Jessa Valentine. Jessa joins Ascendium as a senior learning and impact officer. As a senior officer, Jessa will lead grantmaking that builds rigorous, relevant and useful evidence about postsecondary education and workforce training policies, practices and programs that warrant scaling.
“I am thrilled to be joining Ascendium’s Learning and Impact team,” Jessa said. “I look forward to partnering with researchers and other funders to strengthen the evidence base on postsecondary education and workforce training strategies that support upward mobility for learners from low-income backgrounds.”
Jessa previously was director of research and evaluation with DVP-PRAXIS, where she provided oversight across the company’s portfolio of evaluation projects in postsecondary education and workforce development. She has also held research positions with the Wisconsin Center for Education Research and the Center on Wisconsin Strategy at University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Jessa holds a Ph.D. in sociology from UW-Madison; a master’s degree in Latin American studies from the University of California-San Diego; and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford University. During her time at UW-Madison, she was also a predoctoral fellow in education research funded by the Institute of Education Sciences.
In her role at Ascendium, she will source and steward our investments in validation grants focused on determining the effectiveness of postsecondary education and workforce training reforms, along with identifying the conditions that contribute to success.
“We’re excited to welcome Dr. Jessa Valentine to Ascendium,” said Bethany Miller, director – learning and impact. “Ascendium has a long tradition of investing in high-quality evaluations that support better, evidence-based decision-making by policymakers and practitioners. As an experienced researcher and evaluator, Jessa will take our validation grantmaking to the next level.”