Mary Lindenstein Walshok is an author, educator, researcher, and Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Programs and Dean of Extension at the University of California San Diego. She is a thought leader and subject matter expert on aligning workforce development with regional economic growth.
She is the author of more than 100 articles and reports on regional innovation, the role of research institutions in regional economies and workforce development. She has authored and co-authored numerous book chapters and articles on the world of work, including: Blue Collar Women (1981), Knowledge Without Boundaries: What America’s Research Universities Can Do for the Economy, the Workplace, and the Community (1995), Closing America’s Job Gap (2011) and Invention and Reinvention: The Evolution of San Diego’s Entrepreneurial Economy (2013).
As an industrial social scientist studying the dynamics of regional economic development and transformation, Walshok has studied various communities across America. She has evaluated 13 WIRED regions funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, studied three innovative regions for a National Science Foundation-funded project, and assessed one region’s efforts to grow an industry for a Lilly Foundation-funded endeavor.
As head of the continuing education and public programs arm of UC San Diego since 1981, Walshok oversees programs that educate more than 61,000 enrollees annually, which translates to more than 25,000 students in over 4,400 courses. She oversees a staff of 230 employees and an annual budget of more than $50 million. Walshok has developed outreach efforts to help accelerate the San Diego region’s economic vitality, assure a globally competitive talent pool and help college graduates transition to employment areas that are in higher demand. She also helps provide access to a vast array of regional intellectual resources through the award-winning UCSD-TV and nationwide through UCTV, which reach over 4 million households and millions more around the globe through on-demand Internet downloads.
During her tenure Walshok has played an active part in helping the University expand its local impact, national reputation and global reach. UC San Diego — one of the ten campuses in the world-renowned University of California system — has rapidly achieved the status as one of the top 50 institutions in the world for higher education and research.
Walshok is the recipient of numerous awards including the Kellogg Foundation’s Leadership Fellowship and induction into Sweden’s Royal Order of the Polar Star. Active on boards of a number of arts and philanthropic organizations, Walshok chaired the boards of the San Diego Community foundation during 2002-2004 and the International Community Foundation during 2007-2009. She is currently serving on the boards of San Diego CONNECT (which she helped found in 1985), the La Jolla Playhouse, the United States-Mexico Foundation for Science, International Community Foundation, and the Girard Foundation.
A native of Palm Springs, California, she received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Pomona College in 1964, her master’s degree in sociology in 1966 and her Ph.D. in sociology in 1969 from Indiana University. She has been a visiting professor at the Stockholm School of Economics for many years and in 2004 held an international appointment in the department of continuing education at Oxford University in England.