Vanessa McDowell

Chief Executive Officer, YWCA Madison
Vanessa McDowell

A proven leader in the human services field, Vanessa McDowell brings nearly 13 years of experience to her position as YWCA Madison's Chief Executive Officer. She was initially hired in 2014 as the Director of Support Services for the YWCA, then promoted to Chief Programs Officer, later promoted to Interim CEO, and finally CEO . Vanessa is deeply committed to offering programs and services that support women and social justice, help families and strengthen communities. She has a passion for serving others by leveraging voices that have been silenced as well as empowering others to live out their purpose. She works from an empowerment model which aligns with the mission of the YWCA Madison which is to eliminate racism and empower women.

Prior to joining the YWCA, Vanessa worked for UW- Madison’s Wisconsin Equity and Inclusion Laboratory and was the Executive Assistant to the Pastor for Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

Vanessa is born and raised in Madison, WI. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. She has made a commitment to stay and work in the Madison community because of her dedication to this community.

Vanessa (aka DJ ACE) is also a known DJ in the Madison area. She loves to provide music to area community events when she has time.

She was also selected to participate in the 2015 class of Leadership Greater Madison. In 2016 BRAVA magazine selected Vanessa as one of the 22 “Women to Watch”. In February 2018, Vanessa was named one of the 35 Most Influential African Americans in Wisconsin by Madison 365. Vanessa was also honored as one of Madison’s 40 under 40 by In Business magazine in 2018

The above information was provided by the speaker.

Breakout Session: Be YOU!
Our Society pressures us to be so many different things…except ourselves! This seminar is designed to empower young women to be themselves. The world needs us to show up as ourselves and no one else. Vanessa McDowell will share her story of being who she is and where it has taken her.
At Girls World Expo Madison, WI on Sunday, October 28, 2018

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