A leader in education and equity-centered design, Daniel works to advance justice through education & community engagement. Prior to his role as president and CEO of the Steelcase Foundation, he led the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology where he worked towards equity and innovation throughout Michigan. Prior to that, he was co-founder and principal of Grand Rapids University Prep Academy, the first “Centers of Innovation” School in Grand Rapids Public Schools. In 2020 he was elected to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees for Grand Rapids Community College. In 2018, Daniel was appointed by then-Governor Rick Snyder to join the Michigan Consortium of Advanced Networks, and in 2019, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer appointed him as vice-chairperson of the MI-STEM Council. Daniel has served on many local boards and statewide committees, as well as a number of national initiatives. He believes deeply in the innate brilliance of community and the importance of centering the voices of those so often ignored. These beliefs and his passion for liberation and justice drive his work with community.
Justice work is a never-ending journey of persistence, tension, and balance. Doing this work means wrestling with the uncomfortable space between valuing diverse perspectives and refusing to validate oppressive ideology. It means relentlessly moving forward in the face of sorrow and exhaustion while giving yourself grace. It calls for both peacemaking and disruption, discomfort and joy. It is so hard, and it is so necessary.