Facts About the Office: School Politics at the State Level

Charter schools? College and University rules? Curriculum Guidelines? These and other significant decisions about school resources happen at the statewide level. If you are interested in creating educational opportunities for millions of young people and setting an agenda with smart guidelines for what gets taught to our children, then learn about School Politics at the State Level with women who are tackling these issues right now.

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Meet Your Speakers

Vanessa Cooksey, Harris-Stowe State University Board of Regents

Vanessa Cooksey

Vanessa Foster Cooksey sits on the board of the Harris-Stowe State University Board of Regents, which is the governance body of the University that develops governance policy and provides governance oversight of the University Administration and operation. Vanessa is a member of a number of subcommittees: Academic & Student Affairs Committee Finance Committee Audit Committee Personnel Policies & Procedures Committee Fund-Raising Committee Capital Expansion Committee Legal Advisory Committee. Vanessa heads Community Affairs at Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. In this role, she plans, directs and executes the firm’s nationwide strategy for charitable giving, volunteerism, and community and civic involvement. She leads a team that focuses primarily on opportunities in the areas of financial education, healthy aging, workforce development and arts and culture. She also serves on the company’s Senior Leadership Board and Management Committee. Vanessa joined Wells Fargo Advisors in 2013 after previously serving as the senior director of Community Affairs at Anheuser-Busch. There, she managed more than 300 grants and partnerships and led the company to receive its highest corporate reputation score in its history. Prior to Anheuser-Busch, Vanessa was the director of Community and Government Relations for Supervalu. Her career has spanned across corporate, public and non-profit sectors, and she has served in leadership roles for the Cartoon Network, CNN, the Atlanta Public Schools and the City of Atlanta. Vanessa earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas-Austin. She has an extensive history of non-profit board experience and volunteer service, where she has focused on organizations and programs that promote literacy and education, diversity, youth leadership and health and wellness. She resides in St. Louis with her husband and young son.

Jane Goff , Colorado State Board of Education on Gov. Hickenlooper’s Education Leadership Council

JaneGoff2Jane Goff was first elected to the Board in 2008, was re-elected for a second term in 2014, and currently represents the State Board on Gov. Hickenlooper’s Education Leadership Council. She is the Board’s designated Democratic legislative contact. She is also the liaison to the State Advisory Committee on Gifted Education, and member of the selection committees for Colorado’s Teacher of the Year and Milken Family Foundation Teaching Award. Jane is regularly involved in supporting the work of the Colorado School Counselor Association, the Adams County Education Consortium and the Jeffco Schools Strategic Planning Advisory Council. Jane recently completed her term as President of the National Association of State Boards of Education, but remains a member of the NASBE leadership team as Immediate Past President. Prior to election to the presidency, Jane had served a total of four years as NASBE’s Western Region Director and President-elect. Jane is a Colorado native and both a graduate and retired employee of Jefferson County Public Schools, where she enjoyed a 34-year career as a classroom French and Spanish teacher and director of the district’s World Languages and International Student Exchange programs. Jane served as president of the Jefferson County Education Association (JCEA) from 1998-2000 and as vice-president of the Colorado Education Association (CEA) from 2000-2006. Prior to joining the State Board, Jane worked as a legislative aide for the Colorado House of Representatives. Jane earned her degree in Modern Language Education at Colorado State University and graduate hours in school administration and counseling at the University of Colorado.

Venora Hung, University of Minnesota Board of Regents

Venora-HungVenora M. Hung’s career has been guided by her passion for adding value to organizations through her background in finance, law and strategy in dynamic, global and fast-paced environments. Hung has worked for DLA Piper on domestic and cross border transactions. Hung joined DLA Piper from Cargill, Inc. where she was involved with business development, global strategy, capital investment recommendations, new market entry and M&A in Asia and South America. Prior to that, Hung held several finance roles for Cargill in England and Minnesota. She earned a law degree from the University of Minnesota and also Bachelor of Science degrees from the University in Finance, Management Information Systems, and Insurance and Risk Management. Her community service experience includes the Golden Valley Building Board of Review, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and the Council of Asian Pacific Minnesotans. In 2007, Venora was elected by the Minnesota State Legislature to the twelve member Board of Regents at the University of Minnesota for a six-year term from the 5th Congressional District.