Mary Lindenstein Walshok, Dean, UC San Diego Extension
Mary Walshok is a thought leader and subject-matter expert on aligning workforce development with regional economic growth. She has authored more than 100 articles, reports, and book chapters on regional innovation, workforce development and the role of research institutions in regional economies. As an industrial social scientist focused on the dynamics of regional economic development and transformation, Walshok has studied various communities across America. She has evaluated 13 WIRED regions funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, studied three innovative regions for a National Science Foundation-funded project and assessed one region’s efforts to grow an industry for a Lilly Foundation-funded endeavor. As head of the continuing education and public programs arm of UC San Diego since 1981, Walshok oversees programs that educate more than 100,000 enrollees annually, which translates to more than 30,000 students in over 4,400 courses. Walshok has developed outreach efforts to help accelerate the San Diego region’s economic vitality, grow the region’s globally competitive talent pool and help college graduates transition to high-demand employment areas. She also helps provide access to a vast array of regional intellectual resources through the award-winning UC San Diego-TV and nationwide through UCTV. During her tenure, Walshok has played an active role in helping the University expand its local impact, national reputation and global reach. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Kellogg Foundation’s Leadership Fellowship and was inducted into Sweden’s Royal Order of the Polar Star. She currently serves on the boards of San Diego CONNECT (which she helped found in 1985), the La Jolla Playhouse, the United States-Mexico Foundation for Science, Institute of the Americas, the San Diego Opera and the Girard Foundation. A native of Palm Springs, California, she received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Pomona College in 1964, her master’s degree in sociology in 1966 and her Ph.D. in sociology in 1969 from Indiana University. She has been a visiting professor at the Stockholm School of Economics for many years and in 2004 held an international appointment in the department of continuing education at Oxford University in England.