Danae Davis has devoted her career to promoting education and helping the most vulnerable in society. She worked as legal counsel for former Wisconsin governor Tony Earl and sought to promote diversity as an executive at Miller Brewing and Kraft Foods. She was a member of the UW System Board of Regents from 2003 to 2011, and in 2008, she earned the Outstanding Woman of Color in Education Award from the UW System. As the executive director and CEO of PEARLS for Teen Girls, she served at-risk African American girls in Milwaukee. In 2014, among 1,300 girls in the program, 97.6 percent graduated from high school and were accepted to at least one college; and 99.9 percent avoided teen pregnancy.
In 2015, Davis joined Milwaukee Succeeds, part of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, where she is leading the effort to improve educational outcomes through focusing on children’s readiness to learn, from kindergarten through college and career. The community partnership has showed promising results, particularly in improving third-grade reading skills. Davis was recently named a Woman of Influence by the Milwaukee Business Journal and attended a prestigious program for nonprofit leaders at the Harvard Business School called Strategic Perspectives on Nonprofit Management. Davis also chairs the board for 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, which seeks to make the city more inclusive; and StriveTogether, a national, nonprofit network to improve U.S. educational outcomes from cradle to career.