About Us

WestEd is committed to the belief that all students should succeed in our schools and that all learners — from infants to adults — should thrive in our communities, despite the circumstances they were born into.
–Glen Harvey, WestEd CEO

Success for every learner is WestEd’s prime focus and has been for more than five decades. A nonpartisan, nonprofit research, development, and service agency working with education and other communities throughout the United States and abroad, WestEd aims to improve education and other important outcomes for children, youth and adults.

The depth, diversity, and history of our work, coupled with our on-the-ground experience and research-based knowledge, give WestEd staff unique expertise in helping all learners — infants to adults — succeed in school and career.

WestEd staff meet the needs of our clients and customers through research, evaluation, professional development, technical assistance, policy analysis, and other support.

“WestEd staff are always in the field, we’re always listening,” says WestEd CEO Glen Harvey. “We’re very needs driven. We focus on the priorities of our clients and customers so that we can successfully leverage our expertise and resources, resulting in a deeper and more lasting impact.”

Since its inception in 1966, WestEd* has been tackling real-world challenges, often in partnerships with others, to make a positive difference in the lives of millions of children and adults. Our work is far from over as we continue to identify and develop ways to ensure success for every learner.

* WestEd is a Joint Powers Agency, authorized by a California Joint Powers Agreement (pdf) and governed by public entities in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah, with Board members representing agencies from these states and nationally.

A nonpartisan, nonprofit research, development, and service agency, WestEd is tax exempt under Section 115(1) of the Internal Revenue Code. Because of this status, our work meets the giving guidelines of philanthropic organizations.

Our Mission

WestEd — a nonpartisan, nonprofit research, development, and service agency — works with education and other communities throughout the United States and abroad to promote excellence, achieve equity, and improve learning for children, youth, and adults.

Our Impact

Below are several highlights of the positive difference we make in the lives of children and adults:

Carnegie Math Pathways is the first program of its kind to transform math remediation in community colleges nationwide. Students who have taken Carnegie Math Pathways courses complete their introductory college math at triple the rate and half the time of their peers.


The Academic Parent-Teacher Teams (APTT) system gives families tools and strategies to help their children master the academic skills they need to succeed. APTT has thus far provided support to over 600 schools in 22 states — impacting the learning of approximately 600,000 students and their families.


Focused on systemically transforming teaching and learning for English learner students, the Leading with Learning project recently provided professional learning and support to hundreds of teachers, principals, and instructional coaches through a federal Investing in Innovation grant, reaching over 3,300 English learners.

Our History

The roots of WestEd go back to 1966, when Congress funded regional laboratories across the country to find practical ways to improve the education of our nation’s children. Charged with “bridging the gap between research and practice,” a number of the original Regional Educational Laboratories grew beyond their initial charge and developed into successful organizations. Two in particular — the Southwest Regional Educational Laboratory (SWRL) and the Far West Laboratory for Educational Research and Development (FWL) — evolved beyond their laboratory roots, eventually merging in 1995 to form WestEd. In 2016, WestEd celebrated a half-century milestone, marking 50 years of improving learning and healthy development at all stages of life. Visit a timeline of WestEd’s history to see a small sampling of our agency’s  accomplishments over the decades, and view our WestEd at 50 video.