A national leader of efforts to help public schools, districts, and regional and state education agencies become resilient and healthy places oriented to serving the “whole person,” Natalie Walrond has taken on the role of associate director of the Region 15 Comprehensive Center (R15CC).

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education as part of the Comprehensive Center Network, R15CC provides capacity-building technical assistance, content expertise, and other services to state education agencies and their regional and local constituents in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah, which together serve more than 17 percent of all students nationally.

Walrond comes to the post having most recently led the national Center to Improve Social & Emotional Learning and School Safety (CISELSS), which worked to build state and local capacity to integrate evidence-based approaches to social and emotional health and development and school safety with academic teaching and learning, school climate, and all of the ways that children and youth experience school.

Over the past five years, CISELSS provided universal, targeted, and direct technical assistance to twenty-five states, including CA, HI, KY, NV, OH, and WI. Through its state collaboratives, CISELSS has worked with all four states served by R15CC.

Like R15CC, CISELSS was housed at WestEd, a nonpartisan, nonprofit agency that provides a range of services—research and evaluation, professional learning, technical assistance, and policy guidance—for education and other communities.

“Natalie’s long-standing leadership—as well as her deep experience and expertise in whole person, whole family, whole community initiatives—is a treasured addition to our leadership team as we partner with state education agencies to improve opportunities for millions of students and their teachers,” said Kate Wright, director of R15CC.

During her 25 years of experience in K–12 education, finance, and strategy, for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations, Walrond has led the development of flagship publications that have been widely cited in the field, including:

In addition, Walrond recently released Equitable, Sustainable Systems Change at Scale: Lessons Learned From State Collaboratives.

“I am energized to join the brilliant and committed Region 15 team, as they provide relevant, high-quality, and equity-centered technical assistance tailored for the states they serve,” said Walrond.

Walrond, who is based in San Francisco, earned her BA in international studies and international business from Trinity University and an MBA from the University of Chicago, with concentrations in analytic finance and policy studies. In 1999, she also earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Walrond is a founding board member and treasurer for Beyond 12 and is also a member of Education Leaders of Color (EdLoC).

The Region 15 Comprehensive Center works in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah to improve outcomes for all children and better serve communities through capacity-building technical assistance. Visit the Region 15 Comprehensive Center for more information.

The contents of this release were developed by the Region 15 Comprehensive Center. The Region 15 Comprehensive Center is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.