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DBT40 Honoree: Valdese West

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Title: Assistant Policy Scientist


Workplace: University of Delaware, Institute for Public Administration

Age: 34

Valdese West believes in the power of positivity and the impact that support and encouragement can have in professional growth.

It’s what guides her as an assistant policy scientist at the University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration, where she organizes professional retreats and skill-building workshops, and conducts research for best practices, but also as the institutional director of the Delaware Municipal Clerks Institute that provides holistic professional training to local government employees across the municipalities in Delaware and Maryland.

West also serves on the executive committee of the Delaware Ace Women’s Network, where she works to encourage professional development for women in higher education around the state by planning the Leadership Summit and hosting a session called “Discover Happiness: Grow and Glow Development Strategies.”

Outside of her office, West is also an independent trainer for diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice, and civil discourse workshops, promoting equity in public service and a solution-centered approach to governmental affairs, and a volunteer community mediator. She also has volunteered with Wilmington Head Start, the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay and Habitat for Humanity.

The mom of two has been called a “bubbly peacemaker,” but when she finds some down time she loves to entertain guests and exercise her green thumb.

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