Meet the Team
Vernon C. Grigg III
Vernon brings a career-long commitment to education, inclusion, service, and improving the daily lives of all people. A lawyer by training, Vernon holds degrees from Yale Law School (J.D.), the London School of Economics (G.SC.), and the University of Michigan (BA). Vernon comes to the Kravis Lab from his role as CEO & President of Up with People, a fifty-five-year-old international nonprofit education and arts organization. He managed a global team of 50 employees across three continents as he led the nonprofit to sustainability and health despite the challenges of the worldwide pandemic.
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Vernon is a seasoned trial lawyer, representing clients of all kinds, including government officials, Fortune 100 Corporations, and a major league sports franchise, always making time to help the least fortunate with civil rights and employment matters. He is admitted and has practiced in the United States Supreme Court, U.S. Federal Courts across the country, and state courts across California. Vernon has taught as an Adjunct Law Professor at the Golden Gate University School of Law.
Vernon’s international experience since law school includes serving breaking ground as the first black law clerk to the Supreme Courts of South Africa and Israel. He later returned to South Africa to build the electoral court that heard challenges during that country’s first free election. Vernon’s public service includes serving as a San Francisco prosecutor, Human Rights Commissioner, and Housing Commissioner. In addition to his current leadership of Up with People, Vernon led the rebuild and reconstruction of a cherished 125-year-old theater as Executive Director of San Francisco’s Bayview Opera House.
In his new role as Executive Director of the Kravis Lab, Grigg is well-poised to advance CMC’s mission of responsible leadership and to inspire a new generation of young people to tackle the challenges of social innovation, civic engagement, and service. Vernon is certified in Intergroup Dialogue.
Valerie, with extensive experience in general administration, customer service, and engagement, demonstrates leadership by guiding students effectively. She takes pride in her professionalism and discipline, fostering a path of success for herself and fellow members to their best ability.
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Val is now majoring in communications and Spanish to earn a degree in both areas to ultimately become a professional bilingual interpreter. This is for her to become the best version of herself to help other people dealing with their hardships. She has an extroverted personality, with pure intentions to have others be heard and seen. Her main goal is to leave a positive impact on each individual she encounters.