Damien Conners Senior Program Officer for Defending Inclusive Democracy

Damien Conners is senior program officer for defending inclusive democracy at the Kettering Foundation.

Conners is a former executive director and chief operating officer of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He brings a deep background in community development and racial and social equity to his role at Kettering.

Conners also served as vice president of promise and impact with the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, where he led partnerships with the Hawaii Department of Education, Kamehameha Schools, American Library Association, California State Library, the Greater Clark Foundation, and United Way. He also served as vice president of operations and corporate development for Bizzell Group LLC, a management consulting firm that works to build healthy and sustainable communities both domestically and around the world through partnerships with a host of US government agencies and other organizations. Among other positions, Conners is also the former executive director of Excel Bridgeport, an educational equity organization in Connecticut.

Conners holds several degrees, including a BA in political science, music, and Africana studies from Ramapo College of New Jersey; a MDiv with a concentration in women’s studies and the Black church from Princeton Theological Seminary; and a ThM with a focus on race, religion, and politics from Emory University. He holds numerous awards and recognitions for his work as a leader on issues related to civil rights, social equity, and nonviolence.