United Way for Southeastern Michigan names new president and CEO

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Milwaukee Superintendent and Detroit Public Schools Educator Dr. Darienne Driver to lead nonprofit

DETROIT —  The United Way for Southeastern Michigan board is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Darienne Driver as the organization’s new president and CEO, effective July 9, 2018.

Dr. Driver currently serves as superintendent of the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) and will continue in that role through July 6. As superintendent for MPS, Dr. Driver has led a distinguished career which includes initiating a series of bold reform measures to improve student outcomes. She is also the first African American woman and the youngest person in that city to be named to the position. Prior to her role as superintendent, Dr. Driver served as MPS’ first chief innovation officer where she successfully narrowed the achievement gap in schools with the greatest needs. She also previously served the School District of Philadelphia as its deputy chief of empowerment schools, and coordinator of strategic management and accountability. While at Clayton County Georgia Public Schools, she served as special assistant to the superintendent. Dr. Driver began her outstanding career in education as an elementary teacher for Detroit Public Schools.

Dr. Driver’s academic achievements include a doctorate in the Urban Superintendent Program and a master’s degree in education, both from Harvard University; a master’s degree in curriculum development from the University of Michigan; and an undergraduate degree in child development from Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga.

Dr. Driver currently serves as chair for the Council of the Great City Schools; member of the Harvard University Board of Overseers; and member of the Executive Committee for Milwaukee Succeeds. She has also served on several boards of directors for a variety of organizations including City Year Milwaukee, and the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County, as chair of the Volunteer Engagement Committee.

Dr. Driver is the recipient of numerous honors for her professional achievements, including being named Most Valuable Person by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee in 2017; and Milwaukee Business Journal’s 2015 ‘40 Under 40.’

“There was no shortage of exceptional applicants vying for the role of president and CEO,” said Mark Petroff, board chair, United Way for Southeastern Michigan.” The board was deliberate in finding just the right fit, and Dr. Driver’s impressive track record as a visionary, her passion for children’s education and community service, along with her connection to this community made her the right person to lead this 100-year institution forward into the next phase of creating lasting impact for those we serve throughout the tri-counties.”

The United Way Board acknowledges the outstanding work of Tanya Heidelberg-Yopp, who led the organization as interim CEO throughout the three-month nationwide CEO search. Heidelberg-Yopp will resume her role as chief operating officer as a valuable member of the organization’s leadership team. Dr. Driver replaces Dr. Herman Gray, pediatrician, who vacated the role last December to chair the department of pediatrics at Wayne State University School of Medicine.

United Way is among the leading nonprofits in Greater Detroit. With support from corporate and individual donors, volunteers and advocates, United Way works in partnership with a variety of agency partners to solve some of the community’s most complex social challenges to help individuals and families meet their basic needs, develop economic self-sufficiency and improve educational opportunities for themselves and their children.

For more information on how United Way is making impact throughout Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties, visit UnitedWaySEM.org.

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About United Way for Southeastern Michigan
United Way for Southeastern Michigan mobilizes the caring power of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties to improve lives in measurable and lasting ways throughout the region. The organization is led by a diverse group of volunteers from business, labor, government, human services, education and the community. United Way provides opportunities to invest in the metropolitan Detroit community through volunteerism, advocacy and its annual campaign. United Way is a leader in convening partners to achieve positive outcomes around Health, Education, and Economic Prosperity. For more information, visit www.UnitedWaySEM.org.