Irene Valdes Wochinger

Irene Valdés Wochinger

Director and Chief of Staff, Communications Division

Irene Valdés Wochinger serves as chief of staff to the Communications Division’s C-suite leader and executive team and supports the division’s culture, strategic implementation, learning and impact, and overall governance effectiveness, in addition to promoting communications-related collaboration and progress across the foundation. Her role includes leading the Office of the Chief Communications Officer and the division’s Measurement and Insights team and Strategy, Planning and Management team. Together, these teams support the division’s core business functions by designing and implementing operating models, policies, and processes that empower teams to implement their strategies and maximize impact.

Irene joined the foundation in 2022 as a deputy director, leading the Communications Division’s Strategy, Planning and Management team.

Earlier, Irene led the development and implementation of strategic frameworks to promote gender equality, youth empowerment, health care delivery, advocacy, and policy at Planned Parenthood Global, the international division of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In that leadership role, she supported global movements for sexual and reproductive health and rights, with a focus on organizational strategy, process design, and operational effectiveness to advance locally led movements in under-resourced communities in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Guatemala, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Bolivia. She also served on Planned Parenthood’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council and its Latinx Strategy Table, developing strategies to foster an equitable and inclusive workplace for all staff members in the U.S. and globally.

Irene’s decades-long career also includes roles at Teach For America, Common Hope Foundation, the Research Foundation for the State University of New York (SUNY), and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Irene began her career in international development as a recipient of a Fulbright Research Scholarship in southern Mexico, where she conducted research with local governments, nonprofits, public hospitals, and private clinics to identify social inequities affecting access to education and health care among Indigenous women and worked with local governments to develop policies to advance equity in health care and education.

Throughout her career, Irene has developed expertise in innovation and human-centered design techniques, organizational effectiveness, and social impact strategy. She focuses on leading strategy execution through culture, leadership and governance, and operational innovation.

Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Irene earned executive and graduate studies certificates in social impact and business operations management from the School of Social Policy & Practice and the Wharton School of Business, respectively, at the University of Pennsylvania. She has a master’s degree in applied anthropology from SUNY Albany and a bachelor’s degree in sociocultural anthropology from the University of Puerto Rico.

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