Natalie Walrond, who has served as the Area Director for WestEd’s Resilient and Healthy Schools and Communities body of work has accepted a position as Senior Managing Director at the agency. Walrond is also the Associate Director of the Region 15 Comprehensive Center at WestEd, a federally funded technical assistance center supporting state, regional, and local education agencies (LEAs), and the schools they serve in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah. 

She recently led the federally funded Center to Improve Social & Emotional Learning and School Safety (CISELSS) at WestEd, 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 children and youth experience school. WestEd is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research, development, and service agency that works with education and other communities to promote excellence, achieve equity, and improve learning for children, youth, and adults. 

“Natalie’s leadership skills combined with her deep knowledge of and expertise in social and emotional well-being, whole-person systems, alignment and coherence, and strategic planning have been enormously valuable to WestEd,” said WestEd CEO Jannelle Kubinec. “We are delighted that she has agreed to take on this new role in which she will help guide the work of researchers and service providers at the agency and help position us for future success.” 

As Senior Managing Director, Walrond provides leadership for a portfolio of work focused on Technical Assistance in the areas of whole person, families, and communities. She is responsible for supporting the growth of a large portfolio of professional services including research and development, evaluation, and technical assistance, and for maintaining an organizational culture that is consistent with WestEd’s vision, mission, and values. 

Walrond brings more than 25 years of experience in K–12 education, finance, and strategy to the position. She is also the author of several seminal publications, including Serving the Whole Person: An Alignment and Coherence Guide for State Education Agencies, Rooting Social and Emotional Well-Being Efforts in Equity: A Reflection Guide, and Equitable, Sustainable Systems Change at Scale: Lessons Learned From State Collaboratives. 

“I’m excited and honored to take on this new responsibility as WestEd continues to pursue its mission to promote excellence, achieve equity, and improve learning for children, youth, and adults,” said Walrond.  

Walrond earned her BA in international studies and international business from Trinity University and her 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).