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Valerie Merritt

New York City

Chief of Staff to the CEO

Valerie Merritt is a Newark, New Jersey native currently residing in the township of Irvington, NJ. She received her early education in the Newark Public Schools and went on to graduate from Clifford J. Scott High School in East Orange. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Organizational Management—both from Centenary University in Parsippany, NJ. Valerie is also a graduate of Leadership Newark, a two-year public policy fellowship program that selects emerging leaders and professionals committed to the improvement of the greater Newark community.

Valerie developed a love of communications, public relations and community engagement work early in her career while with New Jersey Transit, the nation’s third largest transportation agency. After 14 years with the agency, she went on to spend eight years with the Newark Public Schools District where she served on leadership teams for four different Superintendents.  As the director of communications, Valerie provided strategic counsel to leadership during a significant period of change.  She also was instrumental in the District’s efforts to build public confidence, communicate and promote educational reforms, policies, and initiatives—all to support local public schools, district offices, and the Newark community at-large.

Currently, Valerie serves as the Chief of Staff to the CEO for the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA). CBMA is a 501(c)(3) national membership organization who supports and uplifts leaders and organizations across the country committed to building beloved communities for Black men and boys. CBMA also serve as an intermediary and a guide for national organizations in the boys and men of color space.

Valerie is a woman of character and substance. One of her career accomplishments that she is most proud of is creating the tagline “Changing Hearts and Minds to Value Education” in 2009 for the Newark Public Schools. The tagline resonated throughout the District and the community, resulting in it being trademarked and now owned by the Newark Public Schools—a first for New Jersey’s largest public-school district. Valerie also highlight's one of her career accomplishments as having the ability to communicate effectively and connect people while cultivating relationships that support and strengthen communities.

Valerie is a proud member of the National Black MBA Association and serves on the board of the International Girls Academy. She lives by one core creed—“service above self”, and she always aims to leave an environment, no matter how challenging, better than she found it.

by Valerie

Valerie Merritt

Be the Change

In this blog post, CBMA team member Valerie Merritt reflects on her time with the Campaign for Black Male Achievement and how we must continue the work to improve life outcomes for Black men and boys.
blog Mission Fuel
Valerie Merritt

Reflections: Start Where You Are

In this blog post, CBMA team member Valerie Merritt extolls the importance of starting where you are in order to reach where you need to go.
Valerie Merritt

REFLECTIONS: You’re Never Too Old to Start Over

In this new post, Campaign for Black Male Achievement staff member Valerie Merritt reflects on her personal and professional journey that brought her to become part of CBMA and the broader Black Male Achievement movement.
Valerie Merritt

30 Days and Counting

How do you know when you've made a good decision? CBMA's newest team member Valerie Merritt reflect on her first 30-days working at CBMA. Read her reflections here!