August 21, 2012 16:18 ET

YWCA USA Announces New Chief Executive Officer (CEO); Dr. Dara Richardson-Heron, Former CEO of the Greater NYC Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, Will Lead YWCA USA

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Aug 21, 2012) - The YWCA USA, one of the world's most respected organizations dedicated to improving the lives of all women and eliminating racism in America, announced today that Dr. Dara Richardson-Heron will become its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). After a nationwide search, the decision was ratified at the YWCA's National Coordinating Board meeting in Minneapolis on Saturday, August 11. Dr. Richardson-Heron will join the YWCA in September, transitioning officially to her new position in December.

As the new CEO of the YWCA USA, Dr. Richardson-Heron will oversee the organization which promotes solutions to improve the lives of over 2 million women, girls, people of color and their families in the United States. The YWCA USA has almost 250 associations throughout the country and services are provided in over 1,300 locations across the nation. YWCAs may also be found in more than 100 countries reaching more than 25 million members worldwide.

"At this critical moment in our history and evolution, Dara brings an exceptional combination of knowledge, experience and drive to the role of transformative change agent for our organization," says Gloria Lau, interim CEO of YWCA USA. "She has a deep-rooted respect of our organization's iconic history and a dedication and commitment to our mission expressed in her long-avowed vision and extensive history of work to empower all women and 'abolish societal and institutional racism.'"

"It is an incredible honor to have the opportunity to utilize my expertise and passion to build on the more than 150 years of active advocacy and programming done by the YWCA, the oldest and largest multicultural women's organization in the world," says Dr. Dara Richardson-Heron. "I very much look forward to working collaboratively with key stakeholders to build an effective national movement for the elimination of racism and empowerment of all women during one of the most pivotal times in recent history."

"I am also ecstatic to share my talents, experiences and personal story of achievement to engage a new generation in the YWCA mission and vision," says Dr. Richardson-Heron

"We are delighted to have Dara join the YWCA leadership team. She is a well-respected professional with a powerful combination of non-profit and corporate sector business acumen," observes Rebecca Hall, Board Chair of the YWCA USA. "Her determination to make a difference in the lives of others after overcoming her own personal challenges as a 15-year and counting breast cancer survivor is inspiring and drove her to take on leadership of the Greater New York City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®. We know her passion and commitment to the myriad of issues women face today will infuse her work at the helm of the YWCA USA."

During her tenure as CEO at Komen of Greater NYC from 2008-2012, Dr. Richardson-Heron lead the organization to record-breaking fundraising success and the New York City Affiliate ranked as the #1 Komen Affiliate in fundraising and grants awarded -- outpacing over 120 other Affiliates in the U.S. and abroad in the midst of the deepest trough of the recent recession. While at Komen, she also successfully launched several innovative and creative programs designed to enhance community collaboration, increase awareness and engage a new generation in the organization's mission and vision.

To interview Dr. Dara Richardson-Heron, the new CEO of YWCA USA, contact James Grant or Carolyn Gitomer at or (917) 626-1300.

Go to for more information about the YWCA and for a full biography of Dr. Dara Richardson-Heron.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    James Grant or Carolyn Gitomer
    Email Contact
    (917) 626-1300