Cynthia Mitchell Heard has joined the Los Angeles Urban League (LAUL) as its Chief Operating Officer (COO). The announcement was made by Ambassador Michael A. Lawson, president and CEO of the perennial civil rights organization.
The appointment is a historic one for the iconic organization, with Heard becoming the first woman to hold this leadership position at LAUL.
“We are excited to have Cynthia Heard as our new Chief Operating Officer,” said Lawson. “Ms. Heard has an extensive background and experience in the nonprofit world and her accomplishments in bettering the lives of disenfranchised communities in Los Angeles are admirable and remarkable. We are looking forward to her leadership as we move the Los Angeles Urban League into its second 100 years of service.”
Heard previously served as vice president of business development and communications for the YWCA Greater Los Angeles, creating and helming unprecedented social impact campaigns which serve as a blueprint for systemic change.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, she developed key funding mechanisms through her efforts and assisted with promoting economic stability through public private workforce development, community engagement and securing resources to improve disenfranchised communities that experienced lack of access.
Prior to that, Heard served as senior executive vice president of programs for Children Uniting Nations (CUN) where she developed national collaborative stakeholder partnerships and created statewide bi-partisan advocacy initiatives that focused on new avenues to break down the barriers that surround at-risk/foster youth and marginalized families.
“It is my honor to join President & CEO, Michael Lawson, and the entire team at the Los Angeles Urban League,” said Heard. “I am truly looking forward to embracing the mission of LAUL and the commitment of this stellar team as we continue the advancement of the ongoing community engagement programs, economic stability/self-reliance, civil rights advocacy and the workforce enrichment of our marginalized and disenfranchised communities throughout Los Angeles.”
Heard received her Master of Education from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from USC. She is a distinguished board member of California Women League of Voters, USC Black Alumni Association, KIS Foundation (Sickle Cell) and International Black Women Public Policy Institute (IBWPPI).