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Gretchen James

Gretchen joined Valley Vision as Project Coordinator in the Leadership & Civic Engagement impact area. Gretchen primarily supports We Prosper Together and the California Jobs First Regional Investment Initiative.

Professional Experience

Having originally grown up in Arlington, Virginia, Gretchen first moved to California in 2018 to pursue her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies at Loyola Marymount University, where she also pursued a minor in Film, TV, & Media Studies. During her time at LMU, Gretchen actively participated as both a member and mentor within the Guardian Scholars Program, which offers professional development and life skills support to former/current foster youth, emancipated minors, unhoused, and independent students. This involvement not only deepened Gretchen’s commitment to enhancing opportunities and accessibility for underserved communities but also complemented her academic exploration of sustainable development and communications.

In September 2022, Gretchen moved to the Sacramento region as a CivicSpark Fellow for Yolo County, supporting their Climate Action & Adaptation Planning initiatives. She continued her service with the Yolo County Sustainability Team as an Associate Analyst, focusing on natural and working lands while prioritizing trust-building with the county’s rural producers. 

Gretchen joined Valley Vision as a California Jobs First: We Prosper Together Project Coordinator in March 2024. 

Gretchen is driven by actionable social equity initiatives that intersect environmental sustainability, social justice, and the rapidly evolving landscapes of energy and technology. 


Gretchen finds joy in exploring National Parks, hiking, camping, and seeking out nearby bodies of water to submerge in. She is passionate about supporting local artists and enjoys live music events.