Valerie Capers Workman, Esq.

Valerie Capers Workman is the former Vice President, People for Tesla®, a business executive and the current Chief Talent Engagement Officer for Handshake.

Photo Credit: Suzanne Covert Photography

Recognized as a hyper-scale expert Valerie has guided iconic consumer brand growth and new market entry for Tesla®, FOCUS Brands® (owner of beloved F&B brands including Cinnabon®, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels® and Moe’s Southwest Grill®) Realogy® (owner of real estate powerhouses including Century 21®, Coldwell Banker® and Sotheby’s®), and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts® (owner of iconic brands including Ramada®, Days Inn®, Howard Johnson’s® and Microtel®), leveraging 20 years of corporate governance, operational, M&A, global expansion, and human capital management expertise.

During Valerie’s first two years with Tesla, she was Head of Legal Compliance, paving the way for the construction of the Gigafactory in Shanghai. In December 2019 she moved to leadership of the U.S., EMEA, and non-China APAC HR and Recruiting functions. Three months after taking on this role COVID-19 hit the U.S. and Valerie helped lead the company’s growth from 47k to over 100k employees while co-designing and implementing innovative employee protection programs in partnership with Tesla’s VP, Environmental Health and Safety & Security.

During her tenure with Tesla Valerie became known as the company’s “Top Diversity Advocate” and led the creation of numerous employee-focused programs. During her tenure, Tesla published its first-ever Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Report, replaced its so-called “Anti-Handbook, Handbook” with a comprehensive online Employee Guidebook, and expanded mental health benefits. Valerie led the creation and roll-out of Tesla’s company-wide “Respectful Recharge” training required for all employees which focused on the imperatives of treating each other with dignity and respect.

Valerie joined Handshake in February 2022 where she leads legal risk mitigation and management while providing thought-leadership on topics related to Talent Acquisition and Talent Mobility. Handshake’s community includes over 13 million students and young alumni around the world from 1,400 educational institutions, including four-year colleges, community colleges, boot camps, and 300+ minority-serving institutions. The platform connects up-and-coming talent with 850,000+ employers – from Fortune 500 companies to thousands of public school districts, healthcare systems, nonprofits, and more.

Valerie is admitted to practice law in New York, Texas, and Washington, DC. She is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and St. John’s University School of Law. Valerie is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and Black Women on Boards.