Marian Miner Cook

A distinctive
feature of social and
cultural life at CMC


Civic Engagement after CMC

Mon, February 26, 2024
Dinner Program
Candace Hope Valenzuela '06

The daughter of two military veterans who was living in financial instability on the border of the United States and Mexico, Candace Valenzuela '06 spent her life before CMC at the intersection of some of this country's biggest issues. Upon arriving on campus, she gained a broader sense of the context of her life and its connection to the American dream. Now as a former elected official and a Presidential Appointee, Valenzuela is excited to share what her CMC education means for her life and the work she does for her family, her neighborhood, and communities across five states.

In April 2022, Candace Valenzuela '06 was appointed by the Biden-Harris Administration to serve as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Regional Administrator in the Southwest Region. As regional administrator, Candace Valenzuela is based in Fort Worth and oversees HUD operations, eight field offices and federal housing assistance throughout the five- state region, which covers Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. She is one of 10 HUD regional administrators. She is a mother, an educator, and a former school board trustee. She credits HUD and public education with giving her the stability she and her family needed to thrive as she experienced food and housing insecurity throughout childhood. After becoming the first in her family to graduate college, Valenzuela has since devoted her life to fighting for opportunities for others. She first ran for her local school board to improve Texas schools, becoming the first Latina and first Black woman to serve on the Carrollton-Farmers Branch school board. While on the board, she worked to ensure that faculty and staff would be able to afford to live in the district they served and that students would have a strong education to help them overcome life’s challenges. Valenzuela was the Democratic nominee for Congress in Texas’ 24th District in 2020. She previously worked as a development manager for Metrocrest Services, a half-century-old non-profit that has worked hard to fight hunger, housing insecurity, and unemployment in her community.

Ms. Valenzuela's talk is co-sponsored by the Kravis Lab, and is also part of the Athenaeum's 40th Anniversary Series, which celebrates the achievements of CMC alumni from across the years and invites them to return home to Claremont.

Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

Claremont McKenna College
385 E. Eighth Street
Claremont, CA 91711


Phone: (909) 621-8244 
Fax: (909) 621-8579