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Denise Raquel Dunning, PhD, MPA, MA

Member, Board of Directors

Dr. Denise Raquel Dunning is the founder and Executive Director of Let Girls Lead  and Champions For Change, based at the Public Health Institute in Oakland, CA. Let Girls Lead has contributed to improved health, education, and livelihoods for more than 3 million girls by empowering girls and their allies to lead social change globally. Champions For Change (C4C) saves the lives of mothers, children and newborns in Nigeria by building a movement of Champions advocating for improved reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health. Champions For Change and Let Girls Lead’s impacts include the passage of national laws, implementation of programs, and distribution of funds that save the lives of women, newborns, and children, protect girls from violence, and ensure access to quality healthcare, education, and economic opportunity.

Dr. Dunning also teaches courses on Women’s Health & Empowerment for the University of California San Francisco. Previously, she worked for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Population Council, and also served as a Fulbright Scholar in Honduras working with the United Nations Development Program. Dr. Dunning has a PhD in Sociology from the University of California Berkeley, where she conducted path-breaking research on youth HIV prevention. With a master's degree in Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, she graduated summa cum laude from Duke University. Dr. Dunning is a native Spanish speaker, avid scuba diver, and mother of two young daughters.

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