Joelle Gamble (UCLA 2012), International Development Studies Program alumna and National Economic Council staff member, will deliver the commencement address at the UCLA International Institute's online graduation celebration on June 12, 2021.
UCLA International Institute, May 10, 2021 — Joelle Gamble, who graduated from UCLA in 2012 with a B.A. in international development studies, will deliver the commencement address at the UCLA International Institute’s online graduation celebration on Saturday, June 12, 2021. (The commencement website will open at 6:30 p.m. that day.)
Ms. Gamble currently works in the administration of President Joe Biden as special assistant to the president for economic policy on the National Economic Council (NEC). Prior to joining the NEC, she served on the domestic economic policy team for the Biden-Harris transition.
“The Institute is delighted to have Joelle Gamble deliver its 2021 commencement address,” said Cindy Fan, vice provost for international studies and global engagement. “Her meteoric rise in economic policy work is not only a credit to her talent and hard work, but also an inspiring example for International Institute students and alumni.”
Gamble became an activist at UCLA, organizing and advocating for both college affordability and the rights of undocumented students as external vice president of the Undergraduate Students Association Council. Fellow International Institute students recall her with affection as a generous and kind peer.
In the nine years since she completed her undergraduate education, Gamble has acquired impressive professional experience in economic policy and advocacy and earned an M.A. in economics and public policy at Princeton University.
At the Roosevelt Institute in New York City, an organization that trains young leaders in policy advocacy (particularly in communities that have historically been denied political power), she continued and broadened her work on college affordability as director of the organization’s national network and as senior advisor to the CEO and director.
At the venture philanthropy organization Omidyar Network, Joelle worked as a principal on its
Reimagining Capitalism initiative, for which she founded a joint fund with the Ford and Kellogg Foundations to advance economic justice campaigns by funding grassroots organizing at the state level.
Gamble, who was born in Riverside and raised in Anaheim, California, is the daughter of a police officer and preschool teacher who both served in the U.S. Marine Corps. She was a first-generation college student and a UCLA Black Alumni Association/Legacy Scholarship recipient.
“I knew that whatever I did with my life, I wanted it to be in the service of others,” Gamble told UCLA Newsroom in January 2021. “My parents did that, and they ingrained in me that it is an important way to live one’s life.”