Valerie Rockefeller

Chair of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and former chair of Rockefeller Brothers Fund

We teach our students about shining moments throughout American history when our democracy has navigated divisive issues and times. Today, we can begin to bridge our divisions with the meaningful and informed public dialogue essential to advancing a vital and inclusive democracy. The Vanderbilt Project on Unity & American Democracy provides a laboratory for students, faculty and the broader community to develop models of civil discourse and active civic engagement that will continue to strengthen our democracy.

Valerie Rockefeller chairs the board of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and is the former chair of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. She also co-founded and co-chairs BankFWD, a network to persuade banks to phase out financing for fossil fuels. Her professional background is as a middle school special education teacher for adolescents with learning differences and emotional disabilities.

Valerie has a M.Ed. in Special Education from Bank Street College of Education and a MAT in secondary Social Studies from Columbia University Teachers College. She majored in International Relations at Stanford University, and worked at the U.S. Department of Education during the Clinton administration. She serves as a trustee of Achievement First, the Asian Cultural Council, Columbia University Teachers College, Greenwich Academy, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the Trust for Mutual Understanding. She was a trustee of Spelman College and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Aspen Institute K12 Climate Action Commission, and the Generosity Commission.

Valerie lives with her daughters Percy and Lucy and her son Davis in Old Greenwich, Connecticut.