Dan Cardinali is president and CEO of Independent Sector, the only national membership organization that brings together a diverse set of nonprofits, foundations, and corporations to advance the common good.
Before joining IS in 2016, Dan served on the IS Board of Directors and several IS member committees.
He also led IS member, Communities In Schools, the nation’s largest and most effective dropout prevention organization, for 12 years after working in other positions at the organization.
As a thought leader in the field of public education, Dan was credited with fostering the growing national trend toward community involvement in schools through partnerships with parents, businesses, policymakers, and local nonprofit groups. As the president and CEO of IS, he believes strongly in the power of nonprofits, foundations, and other organizations to work collaboratively to improve life and the environment for individuals and communities around the world. Dan is known for his commitment to performance management to drive evidence-based programs and high impact organizations.
Early in this career, Dan worked as a community organizer in Guadalajara, Mexico organizing a squatter community to secure land rights, running water, and public education. He then returned to Washington, DC for a research fellowship at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University.
Dan is a 2007 Annie E. Casey Children and Families Fellow and leads the K-12 subcommittee of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Education Excellence for Hispanics. He also serves on the board of Child Trends, as an advisory board member of Big Bets, an initiative of The Bridgespan Group and Forbes, and on the Harvard Business School’s Social Enterprise Advisory Board. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a master’s degree in philosophy from Fordham University.