Darren Isom Darren Isom Executive Director

As MMI’s Founder and Executive Director, Darren both developed and leads the $20M philanthropic initiative that uses high-quality music engagement programs and activities to drive student, youth, and community outcomes here in Memphis. A proven strategic leader and nonprofit professional, his career demonstrates his commitment to amplifying community voice and engagement in developing and leading innovative, high-impact youth and community programs, practices, and philanthropy. Prior to MMI, Darren was a manager at The Bridgespan Group where he was a strategic advisor to nonprofit and foundation leaders in youth and community development, foundation strategy, and education policy.

Before Bridgespan he worked as the Art, Design, and Public Programming director for Times Square Alliance, planning and implementing programming for public art and performance initiatives throughout the Times Square District. Prior to working at Times Square Alliance, Darren served as VP of Programs for Groundwork, a start-up youth services organization in East New York, Brooklyn, helping young people in underserved communities develop their strengths and skills through experiential learning and enrichment programs. Before joining Groundwork, Darren worked as the director of Global Logistics for CSI, an international trade finance group, where he managed strategy, organization, and change management projects in Belgium, Spain, France, The Netherlands, and Germany.

A seventh generation New Orleans native, Darren is a graduate of Howard University, Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris, and Columbia Business School’s Institute for Nonprofit Management. An activist for disconnected youth and LGBT communities of color, he has served as an advisor to the leaders of several Bay Area and national foundations and currently serves on the board of Beloved Community, Collage Dance Collective, and Creative Works.