Danielle Torain was named the director of Open Society Institute-Baltimore in January 2020.
A proud Baltimore native, Torain brings a decade’s experience in the public, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors to the job. A graduate of the University of Richmond and the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, Torain worked in the Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, leading a citywide initiative to strengthen systems of support for incarcerated youth, and worked on local jobs programs with the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development. She was senior director of strategy and development at the Center for Urban Families, and spent four years at the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Baltimore Civic Site, leading its place-based strategies in workforce development and economic inclusion, community capacity building and resident leadership. For the past several years, she has worked as an organizational development consultant, helping to advise and build capacity for social justice nonprofit groups.
In the aftermath of Baltimore’s 2015 uprising following the death of Freddie Gray, Torain helped launch several initiatives aimed at connecting emerging activists with the philanthropic resources needed to carry out their work. In 2016, while with Baltimore Civic Site, Torain helped plan OSI-Baltimore’s Solutions Summit and led a panel discussion about job and economic development.
Torain’s work has been recognized through numerous honors and awards. In 2012, she was named one of the Maryland Daily Record’s “Leading Women,” an honor given to women under 40 for their “professional experience, community involvement and commitment to inspiring change.” She was also named a “Maritime Magic Rising Star of Baltimore” by the Baltimore Business Journal, and given a “Spirited Women Award” in recognition of “everyday women who are making extraordinary contributions to their community and those around them.”