Valerie J. Nelson

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Senior Commentary Editor
Santa Monica Office


B.A. in journalism, University of Southern California

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To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

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Valerie Nelson is a senior commentary editor at the RAND Corporation. In the Office of Media Relations (OMR), she works to raise public awareness about RAND's work by shepherding op-eds, blog posts, and other content to publication. 

Nelson joined OMR in February 2015. Previously, she spent more than 20 years as a reporter and editor at the Los Angeles Times. Her byline appeared on nearly a thousand news and feature stories. She also was an entertainment and culture editor, helped launch a section devoted to outdoor adventure, and edited commentaries for the newspaper's op-ed pages. 

Early in her career, she worked at the El Paso Times and the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. She has written about health care, business, and science for state and national publications. While attending the University of Southern California, she was editor of the Daily Trojan and a Congressional intern in Washington, D.C.

Nelson received her B.A. in journalism from the University of Southern California.

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