Valerie Cooley is director of graduate studies and a Lecturer at the Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions where she teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in policy analysis, program evaluation, ethics and policy, and juvenile justice policy.
After receiving her MSW from Boston University, she worked for several years as a clinical social worker in the juvenile justice system in Massachusetts. In order to contribute to the development of more effective policies and programs, she went back to graduate school to obtain her PhD in public policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Cooley's research explores the implementation and effectiveness of policies and programs for at-risk and delinquent youth. Her work includes evaluations of mentoring programs, community-based sanctions continuums, and unified family courts. Criminal Justice Policy Review has published her work on the implementation of community-based sanctions in North Carolina.