Dara Richardson-Heron, M.D.


Dara Richardson-Heron, M.D. joined YWCA USA as Chief Executive Officer in 2012. YWCA is the Nation’s oldest and largest multicultural organization dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

Richardson-Heron is a visionary, strategic, passionate, highly regarded leader and transformative change agent with more than 20 years of leadership and management excellence in the healthcare, corporate and nonprofit sectors. Prior to her role at YWCA, she served as the CEO of the Greater NYC Affiliate of Susan G. KomenÒ, Chief Medical Officer and National Chief Medical Officer at United Cerebral Palsy Association and Executive Medical Director at Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. During her tenure at Consolidated Edison, she was also selected to serve as Special Assistant to the CEO.

Recently featured in The New York Times as one of four female chief executives discussing female voices in leadership, Richardson-Heron is currently utilizing her voice to lead YWCA USA and YWCA local associations across the country in building a national movement for the elimination of racism and the empowerment of women with a focus on Racial Justice and Civil Rights, Empowerment and Economic Advancement of Women and Girls and Health and Safety of Women and Girls.

At YWCA, Richardson-Heron serves at the helm of the national organization, leading transformative change, mission impact, member services, advocacy, communications, finance, development teams and field directors from around the country. Together with her executive leadership team, she works to develop and implement innovative, value added solutions and supports for the 25th largest nonprofit in the nation with a network of 226 local association members with net assets of nearly $1 Billion who are offering life-changing community-based services in 47 states throughout the nation and the District of Columbia. She also works closely with the YWCA USA Board of Directors to provide strategy, leadership and governance for the organization.

Richardson-Heron represents the organization on Capitol Hill, at the White House and in the media. She has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, Nonprofit Times, Black Enterprise, CNN, Forbes, Chronicle of Philanthropy and many other national and local media outlets. In addition to her operational and governance activities, she meets regularly with key stakeholders, including elected officials, coalition partners, corporations and donors and speaks at events across the nation.

Because of her many accomplishments, she 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”. She has been named one of the “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” and also included in the Ideagen Impact 100 list. In 2013, 2014 and 2015 she has been included on The Nonprofit Times “Power & Influence Top 50” CEO list and also in 2015, she was honored with the Distinguished Alumna Award from Barnard College, her alma mater.

Dr. Richardson-Heron, a physician by trade and advocate by choice, holds a Doctorate in Medicine from New York University School of Medicine and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Barnard College of Columbia University. She also completed an Executive Human Resources Program at the University of Michigan.