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Evan Schmidt

Evan Schmidt joined Valley Vision in 2014. As Senior Director of Research and Strategy, Evan lends leadership to the organization in a variety of ways – including project and organizational management; strategic planning, research and evaluation, client relations, community partnerships, and more. Evan leads Valley Vision’s research initiatives, including public polling and future of work research. While at Valley Vision, she has also led initiatives in the Clean Economy, 21st Century Workforce, Innovation and Infrastructure, and Leadership and Civic Engagement strategy areas.

Professional Experience

Evan came to Valley Vision with 15 years of experience as a community development professional. She has worked as an evaluator and a private consultant prior to joining Valley Vision. She led evaluation projects for organizations across the U.S., helping them become more effective and impactful. Additionally, she has advanced major regional community initiatives and conducted research at UC Davis in community development and environmental planning before coming to Valley Vision. Evan’s experience in community development spans years and content areas – including economic development, community engagement, land use planning, public health, and more. Her commitment to community is foundational to her professional and civic leadership – always working to create access, opportunities, prosperity, and well-being for all.

Awards & Affiliations

  • Board Co-Chair, Empower Yolo
  • Nehemiah Emerging Leadership Senior Fellow
  • LibreText Industrial Advisory Board
  • UC Davis Center for Regional Change Regional Advisory Committee
  • California Stewardship Network, Leadership Fellow


  • Bachelor’s of Arts, University of Kansas
  • Master of Science, Community Development, University of California, Davis
  • Master of Arts, Geography, University of California, Davis


Spending time outdoors with my family and our dog. Planning weekly neighborhood potlucks. Roadtrips and car camping. Reading a good book and then reading it again three or four times. Getting into the flow of writing. Winning at games. Singing along to loud music in the car.