Dana Wilson officially named President and CEO of BRIDGES

Posted by Wesley Paraham on Jan 22, 2020

Dana Wilson has become the new President and CEO of BRIDGES USA as of January 2020, succeeding former CEO Cynthia Ham. Wilson, who has been with the organization for over 10 years, was selected by unanimous vote of the BRIDGES Board of Trustees on Sept. 27, 2018.

This is the first time in BRIDGES’ history that the board has chosen a staff member from within the ranks as the next leader of the organization.

“Dana is uniquely suited for this job,” said Ham. “She has the passion for youth leadership development, valuable education credentials, management experience, fundraising abilities, a collaborative nature and an abiding love of Memphis. BRIDGES is a dynamic organization, constantly evolving to serve the changing needs of Memphis—a city starved for youth voice to help it live up to its potential as a vibrant, thriving community. And Dana is the absolute best person to lead BRIDGES into our next chapter.”

Wilson joined BRIDGES in 2008 as a program coordinator. Under the leadership of then-president Jim Boyd, she developed a comprehensive curriculum and internal evaluation for the expanded Bridge Builders program, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2018. In 2013 she was named VP of Bridge Builders.

A native Memphian and graduate of White Station High School, Wilson earned her bachelor’s degree in film production from the University of Colorado-Boulder and a master’s in educational leadership and administration from George Washington University. She is bilingual in English and Spanish and spent several years teaching in Guatemala and Mexico, where she served as vice principal of the Atid School, a Jewish institution in Mexico City focused on trilingual international education.

Wilson is passionate about critical pedagogy, social justice education, and storytelling. In 2018, she produced Youth Action Stories, a national audiovisual project that chronicles how youth and adults can work together to transform their communities.

“We’re doing something unique and powerful here in Memphis, and I’m so honored to carry on the BRIDGES legacy,” said Wilson, expressing her excitement about her new role.