Valerie Dao is Portfolio Director for A Better Chicago where she manages a portfolio of grantee relationships and identifies new investment opportunities for A Better Chicago. In her role as an Associate at Mission Measurement, Valerie Dao supported primary and secondary research and model development for an array of nonprofit and philanthropic clients. Before joining Mission Measurement, Dao served as the Project Coordinator for Nobel Laureate James Heckman's Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group, a project of the Institute for New Economic Thinking. She was also a Summer Research Associate with Mission Measurement during her Master's studies, playing a critical role in building a data competency model for Education Pioneers. Dao is a Fulbright Scholar-her research focused on higher-education reform in Vietnam, surveying human capital development and critical competencies that the international market favors. While in Vietnam, Dao co-founded a mentoring program aimed at building a talent pipeline for public service by improving the critical thinking skills of college students in local communities. She is also an advocate for educational empowerment, having steered curriculum development and implementation for the youth outreach nonprofit Global Connect since its infancy.
Dao holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California Irvine and an M.A. in Public Policy from the Harris School at the University of Chicago.