Vallay Varro is the president of 50CAN: The 50-State Campaign for Achievement Now. In her role, she oversees organizational operations; including state advocacy operations, new site development, national support services and leadership programs. Prior to her work on the 50CAN executive team, she was the founding executive director of MinnCAN, the network’s second branch that launched in January 2011. Before joining the 50CAN family, Vallay served as a classroom teacher at the University of St. Catherine Pre-K Education Center, the director of the AmeriCorps Minnesota Reading Corps and the program manager at the Minnesota Literacy Council. In 2006, she transitioned into a role within the Twin Cities, serving as education policy director in St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman’s administration. She went on to be elected as school board director for St. Paul Public Schools in 2009 in a citywide special election.
Vallay has served on several nonprofit boards and committees including the McKnight Foundation’s Early Learning National Advisory Committee, the Education Policy Advisor’s Network, Think Small, where she served as vice-chair and the St. Paul Children’s Collaborative, where she served as treasurer. Vallay holds a bachelor’s degree in family education and a master’s degree in education from the University of Minnesota. Born a political refugee as her family immigrated to the United States, Vallay now lives in Maryland with her husband and three children.