Valerie Threlfall is the director of The Center for Effective Philanthropy’s San Francisco office and the director of the YouthTruth project, which is one of the first foundation-led efforts to gather and analyze comparative feedback from high school students — the ultimate beneficiaries of school improvement efforts. YouthTruth was developed and piloted in 2008 in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. To date, more than 90 schools representing 12 districts and educational networks have participated in YouthTruth. YouthTruth draws on CEP’s nine years of experience developing large-scale, comparative surveys and providing results to more than 200 foundations, including eight of the largest 10 in the U.S.
Prior to joining CEP in March 2008, Ms. Threlfall was a non-profit strategy consultant, working with organizations such as Global Giving, Partners in Health, and the Monitor Institute. She also spent five years at Momenta Pharmaceuticals, a start-up biotechnology company. Her last position at Momenta was a combined role as director of commercial and strategic planning and as director of public policy, leading efforts to get generic biologics legislation passed by Congress. Ms. Threlfall’s non-profit experience includes working at Opportunity Finance Network, a national association of community development financial institutions, where she published multiple papers on theory of change planning and creating effective impact measurement systems. She holds a joint MBA and MPP from Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, respectively. She has a BA in Economics from Swarthmore College and is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.