President and CEO
Harvard University, University of Michigan, Spelman College
Dr. Darienne Hudson is a high-energy nonprofit executive and life-long educator serving as President and CEO of United Way for Southeastern Michigan, located in Detroit. Before joining United Way in July 2018, she spent four years as superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools. Dr. Hudson began her career as an elementary school teacher in Detroit Public Schools, a point of personal pride.
Dr. Hudson believes in the power of collective impact and in the importance of public-private partnerships to solve societal issues and inequity. She is purposefully and intentionally leading her 100-plus-year-old organization in a direction that places an emphasis on listening to the community and addressing its greatest needs and improving the lives of children and families in her region.
Her ability to mobilize corporations, foundations, and individual donors to orchestrate a coordinated community-based effort in response to the coronavirus pandemic garnered international praise and recognition. Under Dr. Hudson’s leadership, her organization raised over $37 million to support over 2.5 million people in Southeastern Michigan. Today, Dr. Hudson continues to lead United Way with the same sense of urgency and passion.
She proudly serves as co-chair of the Mayor’s Workforce Development Board, is on the boards of the Detroit Children’s Fund, the Detroit Public Schools Foundation, Hope Starts Here, and Connect313. She is a Trustee of Educational Testing Services (ETS) and has recently completed her term on the Board of Overseers at Harvard University. Her most recent appointment is to the Board of United Way Worldwide. She was a 2020 Michigan Chronicle Women of Excellence Honoree, a 2020 WJR Women Who Lead award recipient, a 2021 MichBusiness Leadership in the Workplace Honoree, and a Crain’s Detroit Business 2022 Notable Women in Nonprofits Honoree. Under her direction, United Way for Southeastern Michigan was named Crain’s 2021 Best Managed Nonprofit.
Dr. Hudson's academic achievements include a doctorate from Harvard University in Urban Superintendency, a master's degree in education from Harvard University, and a master’s degree in curriculum development from the University of Michigan. Her undergraduate degree in child development is from Spelman College.