Dianne Morales

Dianne Morales is a former educator and nonprofit executive who was running for New York City mayor as a progressive Democrat as of mid-April 2021. She has been particularly vocal about reforming that way the city approaches affordable housing development and homelessness.

Morales, a 53-year-old Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, native and single mother of two, got her start as a temporary special education teacher in the New York City public school system, while waiting tables in an Italian restaurant at night. She attended Stony Brook University for her bachelor’s degree and then went on to earn two master’s degrees in education, from Harvard and Columbia.

She rose into the upper ranks of the city Department of Education and helped launch its Office of Youth Development and School-Community Services, where she served as chief of operations from 2002 to 2004. Morales went on to become a founding member of preschool education nonprofit Jumpstart, and later was executive director of youth development organization The Door from 2005 to 2009.

For 10 years, she was the executive director and CEO of Phipps Neighborhoods, a social service organization linked to nonprofit developer Phipps Houses. She resigned the post shortly before announcing her candidacy for mayor in February 2020.