About Us

WestEd is committed to the belief that all students should succeed in our schools and that all learners — from infants to adults — should thrive in our communities, despite the circumstances they were born into.
–Glen Harvey, WestEd CEO

In 2016, WestEd celebrated a half-century milestone, marking 50 years of improving learning and healthy development at all stages of life. Visit a timeline of WestEd’s history to see a small sampling of our agency’s  accomplishments over the decades, and view our WestEd at 50 video

Success for every learner is WestEd’s prime focus and has been for five decades. A nonpartisan, nonprofit research, development, and service agency working with education and other communities throughout the United States and abroad, WestEd aims to improve education and other important outcomes for children, youth and adults.

The depth, diversity, and history of our work, coupled with our on-the-ground experience and research-based knowledge, give WestEd staff unique expertise in helping all learners — infants to adults — succeed in school and career.

WestEd staff meet the needs of our clients and customers through consulting & technical assistance, evaluation, policy analysis, professional development, and research.

“WestEd staff are always in the field, we’re always listening,” says WestEd CEO Glen Harvey. “We’re very needs driven. We focus on the priorities of our clients and customers so that we can successfully leverage our expertise and resources, resulting in a deeper and more lasting impact.”

Since its inception in 1966, WestEd* has been tackling real-world challenges, often in partnerships with others, to make a positive difference in the lives of millions of children and adults. Our work is far from over as we continue to identify and develop ways to ensure success for every learner.

* WestEd is a Joint Powers Agency, authorized by a California Joint Powers Agreement (pdf) and governed by public entities in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah, with Board members representing agencies from these states and nationally.

A nonpartisan, nonprofit research, development, and service agency, WestEd is tax exempt under Section 115(1) of the Internal Revenue Code. Because of this status, our work meets the giving guidelines of philanthropic organizations.

Our Mission

WestEd — a nonpartisan, nonprofit research, development, and service agency — works with education and other communities throughout the United States and abroad to promote excellence, achieve equity, and improve learning for children, youth, and adults.

Our Impact

Below are several highlights of the positive difference we make in the lives of children and adults: A National Science Foundation–funded research study found that students whose teachers participated in WestEd’s Making Sense of SCIENCE training outperformed their peers by nearly 40 percent; gains were greatest for English language learners and low-performing students.

More than 95 percent of the early care and education providers receiving consultation from the California Inclusion and Behavior Consultation Network reported having more skills and confidence in working with children with special needs and a better understanding of what children are communicating with their challenging behaviors.

The Program for Infant/Toddler Care is the nation’s largest training system for infant and toddler caregivers. Thousands of early childhood educators from all 50 states have been trained in PITC and use the PITC approach to care for children across the nation.

The Healthy Kids Survey, the nation’s largest, most comprehensive youth risk behavior and resilience data collection service, provides schools with useful data; promotes student engagement, achievement, and well-being; and fosters higher teacher retention rates and parent involvement.

Our History

The roots of WestEd go back to 1966, when Congress funded regional laboratories across the country to find practical ways to improve the education of our nation’s children. Charged with “bridging the gap between research and practice,” a number of the original Regional Educational Laboratories grew beyond their initial charge and developed into successful organizations. Two in particular — the Southwest Regional Educational Laboratory (SWRL) and the Far West Laboratory for Educational Research and Development (FWL) — evolved beyond their laboratory roots, eventually merging in 1995 to form WestEd. Visit a timeline of WestEd’s history, and view our WestEd at 50 video.