Abel Valenzuela Jr.
Interim Dean, Social Sciences Division;
Professor of Labor Studies, Urban Planning and Chicana/o and Central American Studies
Abel Valenzuela Jr. is the interim dean of UCLA’s Division of Social Sciences and professor of Labor Studies, Urban Planning and Chicana/o and Central American Studies. A member of UCLA’s faculty since 1994, Professor Valenzuela has held several administrative leadership positions including chairing Chicana/o and Central American studies, directing the Center for the Study of Urban Poverty and most recently serving as special advisor to the chancellor on immigration policy and director of UCLA’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE).
During his tenure as director of IRLE, Professor Valenzuela oversaw multiple units: labor studies, the Labor Center, the Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program (LOSH) and the Human Resources Round Table (HARRT), which are dedicated to advancing research, teaching and service on labor and employment issues in Los Angeles and beyond.
As one of the leading national experts on day labor, he has published numerous articles and technical reports on the subject. His research interests include precarious labor markets, worker centers, immigrant workers, and Los Angeles.
In addition to the topic of day labor, Professor Valenzuela has published numerous articles on immigrant settlement, labor market outcomes, urban poverty and inequality and continues to frame national public and policy conversations on immigrant and low-wage workers.
Dr. Valenzuela earned his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and his M.C.P. and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was born and raised in Los Angeles and currently lives in Venice Beach with his wife and three sons.
B.A., Social Science Major, University of California, Berkeley, 1986
M.C.P., Masters in City Planning, MIT, Specialization: Community and Economic Development, 1988
Ph.D., Urban and Regional Studies, 1995