Ms. Valerie D. Bell
Attorney and Public Policy Consultant
Valerie D. Bell is an attorney and civic volunteer specializing in not-for-profit administration and management. She is actively involved in efforts to strengthen the St. Louis region, particularly those that enhance educational opportunity, improve race relations, and foster economic parity. Bell is Chair of the Board (and former Interim CEO) of the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation. She is an elected member of the St. Louis Black Leadership Roundtable and the International Women’s Forum (Missouri). In addition to serving as a Commissioner of the Missouri History Museum Sub-district, she also serves on a number of other boards, including the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ-STL) and the Equal Housing Opportunity Council.
Throughout her tenure in St. Louis, Bell has served the community in various capacities. She was legal counsel to Chancellor Emeritus William Danforth in his role as Settlement Coordinator for the St. Louis school desegregation case and remains on the task force overseeing implementation of the settlement agreement. Bell is Past President of the board of trustees of John Burroughs School and the board of FOCUS St. Louis, and Past Secretary of the board of Parents as Teachers (international). She has also been a trustee (or board member) of Fontbonne University, the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, the Independent Schools Association of the Central States, St. Louis Science Center, the Deaconess Foundation, the YWCA of Metropolitan St. Louis, Grace Hill Settlement House, and St. Louis Community College Foundation, among others.
Bell is a graduate of Princeton University, where she majored in the Woodrow Wilson School, and was named a David Lawrence Scholar by U.S. News & World Report Magazine. She was the first female and the first person of color to be elected President of the Senior Class and to lead the graduating class at Commencement. She received a juris doctor from Harvard Law School and a master’s degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. She was formerly an attorney in the New York office of Chadbourne & Parke, and Senior Counsel at the New York State Urban Development Corporation.