Valeria Contreras graduated from The University of Chicago with an Honors degree in International Studies and a minor in Visual Arts. Upon graduation, she returned to her hometown of El Paso in search of opportunities that would allow her to give back to the community. Since then, Valeria has pursued her passion for both public policy and the arts. Valeria has gained extensive experience leading various policy and binational projects throughout the Borderplex region. As a Public Policy Analyst at the County of El Paso, Valeria led the planning committee for the U.S.-Mexico Border Leaders’ Summit 2018, which convened government administrators and policy makers from El Paso, TX, Ciudad Juarez, Chih., and Las Cruces, NM. This collaborative effort resulted in stronger cross-border communication and discussions regarding transportation, healthcare, and economic development. Upon the conclusion of this event, Valeria co-authored a white paper titled, U.S.-Mexico Border Leaders Summit Conference Proceedings: The Case for Continued Collaboration in the Borderplex region and gave presentations to various governing bodies in the region to propose next steps based on the white paper’s recommendations. Shortly after, Valeria was appointed to the City of El Paso’s Committee on Border Relations by the Mayor and City Council and served on the Board of Directors for two years. Valeria went on to join the Beto O’Rourke for America Presidential Campaign as a Regional Political Director—leading the regional political strategy for 13 Western States. Currently, Valeria serves as the Executive Coordinator for the Office of the CEO at Workforce Solutions Borderplex where she continues to work on various projects and programs relating to the Borderplex region.
An artist at heart, Valeria is also a creative entrepreneur and the founder of Valcon Comics, an independent publishing company that specializes in educational comic books for kids. Her most recent project, El Cartoon, is a monthly, bilingual comics series that teaches various topics to kids throughout the tri-state region (El Paso, TX; Ciudad Juarez, Chih.; Las Cruces, NM). Valeria is currently pursuing a Master’s in Fine Arts Degree in Film and Creative Producing from Columbia University in the City of New York. Selected to participate in the 2021 Socrates Summer Seminar, The She-Cession- Unpacking the Factors that Shape Women in the U.S. Economy.