Davis to lead Milwaukee Succeeds

Danae Davis will take over as executive director of Milwaukee Succeeds, after close to 10 years as chief executive officer of PEARLS for Teen Girls, Inc.

David has contributed to Milwaukee Succeeds’ mission since its inception, most recently as co-chair of its Operations Committee and a member of its Leadership Council. Spearheaded by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation in summer 2011, the initiative aims to strengthen educational outcomes for all Milwaukee students with the mantra “Success for every child, in every school, cradle to career.”

Milwaukee Succeeds has been made possible by support from a cross sector of community stakeholders. Key partners include the Greater Milwaukee Committee, Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, Milwaukee Urban League, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County and the Helen Bader Foundation.

Davis will officially transition into her new role on May 11, following the leadership of director Mike Soika, now president of The Center for Learning Communities. The center operates as national consulting firm focused on collective impact, organizational development and large-scale community change.

“I’m thrilled to work even close with these dedicated community leaders committed to making sure every Milwaukee child who starts preschool is college and career ready by the time he or she graduates from high school,” Davis said of her new role. “This wonderful opportunity expands my passion for helping at-risk girls succeed in school to a much bigger platform throughout Milwaukee.”

Several Milwaukee leaders integral to the development of Milwaukee Succeeds praised the selection of Davis in an announcement of her appointment.

“Milwaukee Succeeds works because of the sustained and enthusiastic commitment of its partners and stakeholders,” said Ellen Gilligan, president and CEO of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. “Danae’s leadership will amplify this momentum and inspire further opportunity for our community to invest in the education and the future of our youth.”

“Danae is a force of nature who is impactful, influential, and delivers results,” said Michael Lovell, Ph.D., Milwaukee Succeeds co-chair and president of Marquette University. “I know she will help us be successful in making sure all Milwaukee students are prepared to succeed in whatever career they choose.”

Lovell was part of the selection committee that advocated for Davis’ appointment. Darienne Driver, Ed.D., superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools, and John Schlifske, Milwaukee Succeeds co-chair and Northwestern Mutual chairman and chief executive officer, also were members of the selection committee.

Davis graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and earned her law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School.

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