Dayna Cunningham P12

Dayna Cunningham joined the Board of Trustees in 2019.

Dayna is currently the executive director of MIT CoLab, an action research institute at MIT that supports the mobilization of community leadership and local assets for shared wealth generation and self-determination in excluded communities. CoLab is deeply engaged with communities in the Bronx and Brooklyn, NY, and in Colombia’s Afro-majority Pacific Coast.

Prior to CoLab, as Program Director of the ELIAS Project, an MIT-based collaboration between business, NGOs and government, she worked with leaders using profound innovation processes to create multi-sector initiatives for economic, social and environmental sustainability. Before ELIAS Project, Dayna worked as an associate director at the Rockefeller Foundation supporting efforts to explore changing racial dynamics and new conceptions of race in the US, as well as civil rights legal innovation. Prior to the Rockefeller Foundation, Dayna worked as a voting rights lawyer with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, litigating cases in Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, and elsewhere in the South, and briefly as an officer for the New York City Program at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Dayna is a 2004 graduate of the Sloan Fellows MBA program of the MIT Sloan School of Management. She has an undergraduate degree from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges and a juris doctor degree from New York University School of Law, and is the proud parent of a Hampshire alum.