Dreams Coming True in Education
Donna Lawrence, President and CEO of the I Have a Dream Foundation, spent time with Dr. Rod to discuss the foundation’s work and legacy with children across America. Lawrence talks about their recent collaboration with the CBS Cares campaign and her educational experiences as a student.
Donna Lawrence has extensive experience in advocacy and policy development in support of disadvantaged children, youth and families. She spent many years at the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) where she served in both a statewide role as Director of the CDF-NY office and in a national position as Vice President of National Field Operations. She also worked as Director of the Mayor’s Office for Children and Families under New York City Mayor David Dinkins, and was his Senior Policy Advisor on Children and Youth when he was Manhattan Borough President.
Donna most recently served as Vice President at the JPB Foundation, a relatively new family foundation with a grantmaking program that will grow to over $200M annually. Prior to this, Donna was the Children & Youth Programme Director at The Atlantic Philanthropies, responsible for directing a $100M global grant making program for disadvantaged children and youth, and the Executive Director of The Riggio Foundation, where she worked to develop a strategic social justice agenda and funding guidelines for the foundation, and served as a liaison to existing grantees. In that position she managed a $20M grant for building 150 homes for poor New Orleans families who lost their homes as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Prior to joining the Riggio Foundation, she was the Executive Director of the New York office of the Susan Komen Breast Cancer foundation. In addition to these, Donna has held many other leadership and managerial roles in her professional career.
Donna has an M.A. in Political Science from Columbia University and a B.S. in Social Work from Cornell University. She is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Revson Fellowship and Outstanding Women Achievers. Donna brings a wealth of experience in the foundation, government and not-for-profit sectors; strong organisational and managerial skills, and a commitment to work for social justice and equality for all people.