WestEd Announces Retirement of Chief Policy & Communications Officer Max McConkey

Max McConkey

WestEd has announced the retirement of Max McConkey, its Chief Policy & Communications Officer, effective February 1, 2018. McConkey joined WestEd in 1992 and has served as an agency executive throughout a period of rapid growth for the agency — in revenue, staff, regional offices, and extended research and service work. During this time, he oversaw WestEd’s government relations work and led the agency’s Communications Department, which has won numerous national awards for the quality of its resources and products over the past two decades.

Prior to joining WestEd, McConkey directed The Network, Inc., based in Massachusetts. Throughout the 1980s, as Executive Director of the National Dissemination Association, he played a major role in advocating for the dissemination of exemplary education practices.

For more than 40 years — first during his tenure at The Network and then at WestEd — McConkey served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Knowledge Alliance, a nonprofit trade association, serving one term as Board President and six as a Board officer.

McConkey, an artist specializing in abstract oil painting, will retire to his home in Tucson, Arizona, where he lives with his wife, Emely, also a painter. “My work in education research, development, assistance, and dissemination over a period of nearly 50 years has been enormously rewarding,” McConkey shared in his farewell to WestEd staff and board members, “and I hope to have ahead of me many more productive years in my studio and with my family.”

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  1. Doris Smith says:

    Congrats, Max! A whole new phase in your creative life to look forward to. Best wishes to you and Emely.

  2. Kathleen Barfield says:

    Your presence will be sorely missed! This is the kind of retirement to which we all should aspire–transitioning to doing more of what we love! I hope you and Emely enjoy many more happy years together! Can’t wait to see your art!!