Dara T. Munson is a philanthropist, active community volunteer, leadership coach and non-profit executive.
Her career has focused largely on the needs of at-risk children and she has a special passion for issues affecting women and girls. Dara is fervent about serving youth and lives it every day. She has been a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters since 2005 where she was President and CEO until July of 2014.
Dara is currently Chief Operations Officer of Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan where she provides leadership, strategic thinking, innovation, mentoring, coaching, and vision for delivery of services to nearly 26,000 girl members and oversees the recruitment, on-boarding, training, evaluation and orientation of over 9,000 adult volunteers. She leads the tactical planning process for the development of integrated operating objectives and action steps to achieve the Council’s goals as an effective non-profit leader and partner throughout Southeastern Michigan.
Dara has worked in the criminal justice and juvenile justice fields. She served in several capacities with the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, including senior director of Resource Investment and Community Partnerships, responsible for the management of local offices throughout the tri-county area.
Dara currently serves on the Eastern Michigan University Foundation Board of Trustees and The Hospice of Michigan, S.E. Michigan Regional Advisory Board. A graduate of Leadership Detroit, she is a member of Detroit Young Professionals, and a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated-Lambda Pi Omega Chapter as well as The Renaissance (MI) Chapter of the Links, Incorporated where she co-chairs the Services to Youth Facet. Previous board membership includes the State of Michigan Board of Social Work and Alternative for Girls and Open Arms Grieving Children’s Program.
In 2013, Dara received the Future for Teens My Future Figure award and the Community Champion award from Ebenezer Baptist Church. In addition to receiving the 2012 Women and Leadership in the Workplace award from the Michigan Business and Professional Association, she was also named one of Diversity MBA Magazine’s 2011 Diverse Executive and Emerging Leaders, which targets women and multicultural professionals in corporate American. Dara also received the 2011 Inspirational Leadership Award from the Inaugural Leadership Detroit Awards from the Detroit Regional Chamber.
A 2010 Michigan Chronicle Woman of Excellence and a recipient of the 2010 Eastern Michigan University Alumni Association Achievement Award, Dara was a 2009 honoree of Crain’s Detroit Business 40 Under 40. Additionally, she has been honored with the Braylon Edwards Foundation Champion in You Service Award, the Excellence in Mentoring Award from 100 Black Men of Greater Detroit, the Vanguard Award from the Detroit Young Professionals, the Eastern Michigan University Black Alumni-Distinguished Alumna award and the Molina Healthcare of Michigan Community Champions Award. Additionally, Dara is a 2012 American Express Independent Sector NGen fellow and participated in the Harvard Business School Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management Program in 2009.
A native Detroiter, Dara is a graduate of Cass Technical High School. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Eastern Michigan University and a Master of Science Degree in Public Administration from Central Michigan University.