Dara Richardson-Heron, M.D. is the CEO of the YWCA USA, leading one of the nation’s oldest and largest multicultural organizations promoting solutions to enhance the lives of women, girls and families. For more than 150 years, the YWCA has dedicated its efforts to eliminating racism and empowering women focusing on economic empowerment, racial justice and health and safety. The YWCA is also the largest provider of domestic violence services and women’s shelters in the nation, serving 500,000 women and children annually.
Richardson-Heron joined the YWCA USA in December 2012 with more than 20 years of leadership and management experience in the healthcare, corporate and nonprofit sectors. Richardson-Heron oversees the overall operations of the national organization, leads the national advocacy, communications, finance and development teams and field directors from around the country. With her teams, she works to develop and implement innovative and value added supports for the 229 YWCA local associations throughout the country that offer community-based services in over 1,300 locations.
Richardson-Heron travels extensively for the YWCA USA and represents the organization on Capitol Hill, at the White House and in the media. She meets regularly with key stakeholders, including elected officials, coalition partners, corporations and donors.
Richardson-Heron has been honored with numerous awards, including the YWCA Academy of Women Achievers, Woman of Excellence in Philanthropy and “25 Influential Black Women in Business.” In May 2013, she was named one of the “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” by Women’s eNews and in August 2013, she was listed on The Nonprofit Times “Power & Influence Top 50” list.
Richardson-Heron received a Doctorate in Medicine from New York University School of Medicine and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology at Barnard College of Columbia University. She also completed a Human Resources Executive Program at the University of Michigan.