A leader in higher learning, Dr. Tonya Drake has dedicated her career to expanding access to high-quality, career-focused education. Named Chancellor of WGU Washington in 2018, she has guided the nonprofit, online university to new levels of success: WGU Washington now enrolls nearly 14,000 fulltime students, has granted more than 25,000 bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and has been awarded the 2018 Silver Award for Job Training by Seattle Business magazine.
To replicate the university’s positive impact and connect more individuals with in-demand learning opportunities, Drake became WGU’s Regional Vice President for the Northwest in September 2019. She holds that position in addition to her duties as Chancellor and oversees the university's strategic direction in nine states: Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
Drake has a strong commitment to education and student success. Her work is guided by the belief that higher learning transforms lives and deep convictions rooted in equity and inclusion. She has more than 25 years of experience in higher education, including most recently as the Vice President for College Relations and Advancement at Edmonds Community College. Drake has held leadership positions at Shoreline Community College, Maricopa Community College District, Arizona Board of Regents, Arizona State University, and the University of Washington.
Drake holds a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and Policy Studies and Master of Education from Arizona State University, a Bachelor of Arts in Business from University of Washington, and an associate degree from Lower Columbia College.
Drake earned the Certificate of Leader Development for National Security and Strategy from the National Security Seminar at the U.S. Army War College. She served as keynote speaker at the Global Leadership Summit in South Africa on the topic of “Deconstructing Race” and received the Outstanding Administrator Award from the Associated Students of Edmonds Community College. In 2019, she was named among Seattle Business magazine’s “Daring Women.”