Dayanna Torres is passionate about brokering shared value public and private collaborations and initiatives to dismantle systemic barriers to solve society’s most pressing issues. Her career has been laser focused in creating opportunities for economic advancement and inclusion for disenfranchised communities and populations historically overlooked and underestimated. Currently, she is the Director of Community Solutions at JobsFirstNYC, a non-profit intermediary, where she plays a leading role in working with local communities to develop new cross sector inclusive economic development solutions and attracting investments that are responsive to the unique needs of diverse neighborhoods in New York City.
With over 13 years of experience, she brings extensive knowledge working across the public sector, higher education, and non-profits launching partnerships and managing initiatives in the areas of economic development, workforce development, adult education & training, college access/success, financial empowerment, and business development. Previously, she formed part of the inaugural partnerships department at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), where she led projects aimed at spurring inclusive economic development and talent pipeline solutions for the City’s high growth industry investments, City assets undergoing Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), and company expansions. Dayanna also has a track record of advancing the mission of complex institutions by integrating and operationalizing new placed-based program models. Prior to her work at NYCEDC, Dayanna spearheaded the launch and operationalized new placed-based partnerships and strategies at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the largest Public Housing Authority in North America and within the City University of New York (CUNY) the nation’s largest urban public university. She began her career as a TRIO undergraduate counselor.
Dayanna aspires to become a social entrepreneur who uses her professional and personal experiences to drive social impact, spark equitable economic prosperity, and be a voice for the underrepresented often not invited to the ideation or decision-making table.
Dayanna is driven by her personal experiences as a proud daughter of a working-class immigrant, a bilingual Hispanic, and a first-generation New Yorker from The Bronx. She serves on the Board of Directors at Women Creating Change and Proud to Be Latina and formerly served as Chair of the Youth Services Committee of Bronx Community Board 5 and a Student Sponsors Partners program mentor. She is a proud alumna of Syracuse University where she earned a double Bachelor’s degree and two Master’s degrees from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.