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Denise M. Byrne

In addition to being a Co-Founder and the first Project Manager of Forward Cities, a national initiative that promotes inclusive innovation in entrepreneurial cities like Detroit, Cleveland, New Orleans & Durham (www.forwardcities.org), Denise M. Byrne is a management consultant specializing in the development of communities, foundations and nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and abroad.  Her capacity building experience includes: executive coaching, board development, strategic planning, fundraising, marketing and financial management. She has over 25 years of experience working with foundations, U.S. based nonprofit organizations, and NGOs in Africa and Latin America.  In the U.S., Denise has worked with foundations and nonprofits in California, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC, Louisiana, Ohio, Michigan and North Carolina.  Clients she has worked with include: MedStar Health Hospital Foundations, Arlington Community Foundation, Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Fairfield County Community Foundation, New Britain Foundation for Public Giving, William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, United Way, Save the Children, Latino Federation of Greater Washington, and the U.C. Berkeley and Yale University museums, among others. In 1991, Denise moved to Ghana in order to work with Dr. Esther Ocloo, Africa Leadership Prize winner, on the creation of an NGO to help rural artisans develop markets overseas.  Within 5 years of successfully launching the organization, Aid to Artisans Ghana (ATAG) became the country's leading designer, producer and exporter of handicrafts.  Prior to being a management consultant, Denise worked at the Yale Peabody Museum as Membership and Development Officer, and Cartier, Inc. as Assistant to the Vice President of Finance.  Denise has an MBA in nonprofit management and strategic planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelors in Geology with a minor in French from Tulane University in New Orleans.  She is a native of Puerto Rico and is fluent in Spanish and French. She is also a founding board member and Executive Director of Friends of New Orleans (www.friendsofneworleans.org), an organization she launched right after Hurricane Katrina with well known New Orleans leaders such as Walter Isaacson - acclaimed author and President/CEO of the Aspen Institute, James Carville - CNN Political Commentator, and Rev. Kevin Wildes - President of Loyola University.  
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