Denise Raquel Dunning

Board Member

Dr. Denise Dunning is a passionate advocate for girls, women, and young people. She is the founder and executive director of Rise Up—comprising three sister initiatives: Let Girls Lead, Champions For Change, and the Youth Champions Initiative—which has improved the lives of 7 million girls, youth, and women globally. Rise Up’s impacts include the passage and implementation of national laws, programs, and funding that save the lives of women, newborns, and children, protect girls from violence, and ensure access to quality healthcare, education, and economic opportunity. Dunning has a doctor of philosophy in sociology from the University of California Berkeley and a master of public affairs from Princeton University. She also graduated summa cum laude from Duke University. Dunning teaches courses at the University of California San Francisco and also served as a Fulbright Scholar in Honduras. She previously worked for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and is a renowned global speaker whose work has been featured in The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Guardian, and Huffington Post, and she is now writing a book about girls’ empowerment globally. Dunning has lived in Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, India, Ghana, and South Africa and loves to hike and scuba dive.