Vallerie Wagner, M.S. (Education Director of AIDS Project Los Angeles) has been a strong advocate for the human rights of the LGBT communities and persons living with AIDS for more than 20 years. She currently serves on the board of directors of the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) and the Jordan Rustin Coalition. As APLA’s Director of Education she oversees prevention education, community-based research, capacity building assistance, and national programs and publications and serves as the Institutional Officer for the agency’s Institutional Review Board. She is also leading the agency’s efforts to establish a sexual health center for Black and Latino gay men in south Los Angeles. She has also served as the chief operating officer at the Black AIDS Institute, a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization that is the first Black HIV/AIDS policy center dedicated to encouraging Black institutions and individuals to confront the epidemic in their communities.
Prior to joining the Institute, Ms. Wagner was the Director of Education and Social Services at
the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center where she provided overall management for the Community Outreach and Education Department, Legal Services Department, Youth Services Department, Health Education and Prevention Department and the California AIDS Clearinghouse. Before entering the world of nonprofitmanagement, Ms. Wagner worked as an engineer at Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a member of Technical Team for the Voyager and Galileo Projects for 15 years. Ms. Wagner received her B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA in 1981. She received her M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Tuskegee Institute in 1983, becoming the first
woman to receive a master’s degree in engineering from that institution.