Dayna L. Cunningham is an Access Strategies Fund board member and Executive Director of the Community Innovators Lab at MIT.
CoLab is a center of research and practice within the MIT Department of Urban Planning. Combining on-the-ground planning and development expertise of DUSP faculty and students with local community knowledge, CoLab helps community residents and leaders create innovative experiments and living examples that address urban sustainability challenges.
In 2006-2007, Cunningham directed the ELIAS Project, an MIT-based collaboration between business, ngos and government that seeks to use processes of profound innovation to advance economic, social and environmental sustainability.
Cunningham was an Associate Director at the Rockefeller Foundation from 1997-2004. At Rockefeller she funded initiatives that examined the relationship between democracy and race, changing racial dynamics and new conceptions of race in the U.S., as well as innovation in the area of civil rights legal work. From 2004-2006 she was associated with Public Interest Projects, a non-profit project management and philanthropic consulting firm based in New York City, where she managed foundation collaboratives on social justice issues.
Before coming to the Rockefeller Foundation, Cunningham worked as a voting rights lawyer with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, litigating cases in Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi and elsewhere in the South, and briefly as an officer for the New York City Program at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
Cunningham is a 2004 graduate of the Sloan Fellows MBA program of the MIT Sloan School of Management. She has an undergraduate degree from Harvard and Radcliff Colleges and a juris doctor degree from New York University School of Law.