San Francisco – WestEd is pleased to announce Kandace Jones and Kate Wright will lead the Region 15 Comprehensive Center (R15 CC), where they will guide high-leverage evidence-based services that elevate educational equity, improve instructional quality, and promote better outcomes for all students throughout the region.

“We are delighted to welcome Kandace and Kate as new Co-Directors who will strengthen the Region 15 CC commitment to equity and excellence,” says WestEd Senior Managing Director Leslie Hamburger. “They bring decades-long experience to their work in promoting instructional practices and systems change to support the success of all students, especially those from underserved and vulnerable communities.”

Working closely with WestEd leadership and R15 CC staff, Kandace and Kate will deepen content expertise, high-quality capacity-building technical assistance, and other services that effectively support state education agencies and their regional and local constituents in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah.

Kandace Jones is a nationally recognized leader with experience working with education agencies, nonprofits, and private business entities. She excels at shaping and facilitating strategic, large-scale projects designed to improve educational outcomes through a combination of high-quality professional development, capacity-building initiatives, sustainability planning, research and policy development, and other forms of technical assistance. Kandace is transitioning to her new role from the Region 8 Comprehensive Center, where she was centering equity in capacity building and technical assistance supporting state, regional, and local education agencies in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.

A dedicated education leader for more than 25 years, Kate Wright works to achieve positive outcomes for underserved students and communities by overseeing, developing, and implementing a diverse portfolio of equity-focused programs and initiatives. She brings an action-oriented, innovative, and relationship-building approach to strengthening capacity within state and local agencies. Her expertise draws on her background in classroom instruction, site-level and organizational leadership, and state and federal education policy. Kate is transitioning to her new role from the Arizona Department of Education (ADE), where she served as Chief of Staff.

“We are honored to welcome two accomplished leaders to WestEd,” says WestEd CEO Glen Harvey. “Kandace and Kate both have tremendous expertise and I look forward to their contributions to Region 15 states where they will work jointly to promote positive, equitable outcomes for all students.”

The announcement concludes a rigorous national search following the retirement of Co-Directors Mary Peterson and Deb Sigman. Kate is joining the team in March, and Kandace will join in early April.  

Want to know more about the Comprehensive Center Network?

The Comprehensive Center Network works with all the US States and Territories.

View an interactive map to see current projects for each of the Regional Centers and the National Center. Visit the Projects by State page to view the work in each state.