Areas of Expertise:
Gary L. Cunningham is President and CEO of Prosperity Now, a national organization dedicated to advancing racial and ethnic economic justice headquartered in Washington, D.C. He has been leading the organization since August 2019. Under his direction, Prosperity Now has strengthened its strategic focus, centering those most directly impacted by injustice and expanding its approach from simply mitigating the effects of a broken, racist system to testing, investing, and scaling systems-change solutions that will completely transform our economy.
For more than 20 years, Gary has served as a top leader of philanthropic, health care, public policy, and educational organizations. In addition to leading NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center, he was Associate Superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools, the Deputy Director of Civil Rights for the City of Minneapolis and CEO of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) — a minority entrepreneurial organization — and Chaired the Community and Economic Development Committee for the Metropolitan Council the Twin Cites Planning and transportation agency.
Gary is a recognized and respected expert on entrepreneurship, job creation, racial wealth equity, housing and economic development and is a sought-after thought leader on building a more inclusive economy. A native of Minneapolis, MN, he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy from Metropolitan State University and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
A respected champion of community building and economic opportunity, Mr. Cunningham serves on the following boards:
Gary serves on multiple boards and associations, including:
- AEO (Association for Enterprise Opportunity)
- CRF (Community Reinvestment Fund)
- Momentus Capital
- Community Advisory Council for Capital One
- Treasury Advisory Committee on Racial Equity
Non-Profit Quarterly · January 12, 2022
Non-Profit Quarterly · Apr 1, 2021
Drexel University and Yale University · Jan 30, 2021
NPQ · Jan 21, 2021
Poverty Action Research Action Council Newsletter · Feb 1, 2016
The Foundation Review: Volume 6 Issue 1 Racial Equity · Jan 2, 2014
Routledge · Jun 29, 2011
Routledge · Apr 21, 2011
Public Administration Review · Jun 10, 2002