Dr. Darienne Driver is the new president and CEO of United Way for Southeastern Michigan. She came to the city from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she was superintendent of public schools.
Driver began her career in education as a teacher here in Detroit, so this is a homecoming of sorts. Driver was a fourth grade teacher in the early 2000s at the now-shuttered Greenfield Park Elementary School on the north side of Detroit.
“That was a very interesting time in the city. Everything was happening from open enrollment starting, and starting to see a lot of students leaving the school system,” says Driver.
She went on to study school administrative systems at Harvard University, where she earned a doctorate in the Urban Superintendent program.
Driver says her years spent leading school systems taught her about tackling larger systemic issues.
“As a superintendent I used to think I could make all the changes in the classroom, but I know now it really does take all of the systems, and cities, and counties, and states, working collaboratively. I’m a huge proponant of collective impact and really see that as the only way forward.”
To hear more from Driver about her vision for the United Way for Southeastern Michigan on Detroit Today, click on the audio player above.