As Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer at Markle, Wan-Lae Cheng leads the education and employment strategy of Rework America: A Markle Initiative. She oversees Skillful, a partnership with LinkedIn, ASU, edX, the state of Colorado and the city of Phoenix. Skillful aspires to build a skills-based labor market that will better connect Americans to the jobs and training they need to advance in their career pathways; employers to a broader set of talent; and educators to industry needs.
Prior to joining the Markle Foundation, Cheng served as Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company where she focused on operations and organizational strategy across public and private organizations. In the education sphere, Cheng led work for higher education institutions and foundations focused on growth and innovation, research on college completion and student mindsets. In the K-12 space, she led the firm’s work with national educational organizations and state education departments on topics related to Common Core assessments and implementation.
Prior to McKinsey, Cheng worked for MDRC in Oakland, California, a public policy firm specializing in large-scale randomized control trials. She managed site selection, pilot design, and data collection for multi-million dollar federal studies on employment retention and advancement for the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Cheng holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia in Foreign Affairs and an MBA from the Columbia Business School.