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Western Governors University Announces Board of Trustees Appointee

Van Ton-Quinlivan to join board this month

Feb 13, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY – Western Governors University (WGU) has announced the addition of Van Ton-Quinlivan to its Board of Trustees. She is a nationally recognized thought leader in workforce development with experience driving large scale-system change. Ton-Quinlivan spent nearly eight years serving in leadership roles with the California Community Colleges, most recently as the executive vice chancellor of workforce and digital futures for the 115-institution system.

She grew public investments from $100 million to more than $1 billion during her tenure by establishing workforce as a state policy priority, and stewarding an unprecedented level of innovation, collaboration, and experimentation across the system's career education programs. As part of her leadership effort, Ton-Quinlivan also emphasized the importance of data science and drove forward the successful adoption of new technologies aimed to support institutional accountability, data use, and ultimately, student workforce outcomes. 

"Workers will continue to experience significant disruption as the speed of business accelerates thanks to AI and increased automation," states Ton-Quinlivan. "I look forward to supporting WGU's continued path of innovation to ensure that higher education remains a trusted partner to all who seek economic security and mobility."

Ton-Quinlivan's career spans the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Prior to the California Community Colleges, she held leadership roles with Pacific Gas and Electric, including serving as director of workforce development. She is now executive-in-residence at the Institute for the Future (IFTF) where she examines the ways technology impacts learners, institutions, and employment. IFTF is a non-profit strategic futures organization dedicated to helping businesses, governments, and social impact organizations develop insights to navigate complex change and develop world-ready strategies.

In 2013, Ton-Quinlivan was named White House Champion of Change in recognition of her contributions to education and industry. She received the California Steward Leader Award in 2017 for her dedication to collaboration and her work to align public, private, and civic sector leaders in support of economic and social mobility for state residents. Most recently, Ton-Quinlivan was included in Sacramento Magazine’s 2018 “Powered by Women” list of leaders inspiring positive change. 

Ton-Quinlivan earned her master’s degrees from the Stanford Graduate School of Education and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.

About WGU
Established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, online, nonprofit WGU now serves more than 113,000 students nationwide and has more than 133,000 graduates in all 50 states. Driving innovation as the nation’s leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers, and students as a model that works in postsecondary education. In just 22 years, the university has become a leading influence in changing the lives of individuals and families, and preparing the workforce needed in today’s rapidly evolving economy. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, and was featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in The New York Times. Learn more at

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