Darienne Driver leaving MPS to lead United Way for Southeastern Michigan

Will stay on through remaining school year

Darienne Driver, Milwaukee Public Schools superintendent and volunteer engagement committee chair.

Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Darienne Driver, who has led the district for four years, will leave her role to become the new president and chief executive officer of United Way for Southeastern Michigan.

Darienne Driver, Milwaukee Public Schools superintendent and volunteer engagement committee chair.

Driver, the first woman and youngest person to hold the MPS superintendent position, will stay on with the district until July 6. She begins her new role July 9.

“This is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to use the power of collective impact and equity to improve the lives of young people, their families and the communities in which they live,” Driver said in a statement Tuesday to MPS families.

Driver got her professional start in Michigan as an elementary teacher for Detroit Public Schools.

“I am excited to return to Detroit, where I began my professional career as a teacher, and to play a role in the rebirth of this great American city,” Driver said.

Prior to becoming MPS superintendent, Driver was the district’s first chief innovation officer, deputy chief of empowerment schools and coordinator of strategic management and accountability for the School District of Philadelphia, and special assistant to the superintendent for Clayton County (Georgia) Public Schools.

Driver has been involved in United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County during her four-year tenure as MPS superintendent, serving on the board and chairing the organization’s volunteer engagement committee.

Driver will replace former CEO Herman Gray, who left the United Way for Southeastern Michigan in December to chair the department of pediatrics at Wayne State University School of Medicine.

“There was no shortage of exceptional applicants vying for the role of president and CEO,” said Mark Petroff, board chair of 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.”

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Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.