Valerie Johnson was born and raised in the Inland Empire of California. Her journey into higher education began at community college, where she faced the challenges of navigating the community college transfer maze while juggling multiple jobs with full-time classes and student leadership responsibilities. Despite these barriers, Valerie ultimately transferred to the University of California, Berkeley.
Valerie’s passion for education is deeply rooted in her upbringing. She is the daughter of two public school teachers, and education has always been an important part of her life. As a college student, Valerie was introduced to student leadership, which sparked her interest in policy advocacy. She served as the Student Government President at her community college, Vice President of External Affairs at the Student Senate for California Community Colleges, Transfer Student Representative at the UC Student Association, and Transfer Student Representative at the Associated Students of UC Berkeley. Valerie was also the sole student representative and Vice Chair of the Statewide Student-Centered Funding Formula Oversight Committee, where she advocated for policies to support student success and equity in higher education. These experiences inspired her to pursue a career in higher education advocacy.
After graduation, Valerie joined the office of Senator Nancy Skinner as a District Representative and later worked at the Foundation for California Community Colleges, where she was responsible for monitoring the legislature and state budget. In her current role as Legislative Affairs Manager at the Campaign for College Opportunity, Valerie works to shape state policy to ensure all Californians have access to affordable, high-quality higher education.
In her free time, Valerie enjoys reading and exploring the Bay Area’s many food spots and hikes.
Valerie holds an Associate’s degree from Crafton Hills College and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley, both in Political Science.