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Our Leadership

Dianna R. Payton (CEO)

Dianna Payton currently serves as the CEO of the YWCA Greater Baton Rouge where she strives to empower women and eliminate racism.


During her tenure as CEO, she has restructured the organization to develop the first permanent domestic violence apartments in Baton Rouge, launched the nationally recognized YWCA Community Bail Fund to assist un-convicted citizens in need of financial support, and purchased a new 12,000 square foot Women’s Resource and Early Head Start Center. She previously served as the Director of Community Investment for Capital Area United Way (CAUW). In this position, she oversaw the allocation of funds for 46 Community Partnership Agencies and 104 programs in the Capital Region. She also led the strategic development and execution of CAUW’s first open-competitive Community Investment process in its 90-year history.

Board of Directors


Kathy Victorian


Lauren Fowler

Secretary / Treasurer

Kristi Richard

Members At-Large

Penny Clement
Jada Lewis
​Dr. Renita Marshall

Ashley Saucier. M.D.

Renada Deschamp

Ms. Payton has managed non-profit programs and served as a grant writer for more than 20 years at the local, state and national levels including serving as a Grants Consultant for Hanover Research an international research and grant writing firm in Washington, D.C. Prior to this, she gained extensive knowledge serving as the Grants Administrator for the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC), where she assisted eighteen Workforce Investment Boards with fostering strategic community relationships and identifying national practices to support individuals and companies impacted by massive layoffs such as the Deepwater Horizon/BP Oil Spill, General Motors plant closure and Hurricane Gustav.


Ms. Payton is actively involved in the community and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Commissioners for the East Baton Rouge Parish Housing Authority where she helped set the vision for the transformation of the organization including applying for a Choice Neighborhoods Grant and Rental Assistance Demonstration project to redevelop the city’s entire public housing portfolio. Dianna is a present board member of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and Vice Chair of New Schools Baton Rouge, Partners Southeast and East Baton Roue Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. She is a member of Rotary Club of Baton Rouge, Women’s Council of Greater Baton Rouge, the La Capitale Chapter of The Links Incorporated and Capital Area Network.


Dianna was recently named as the 2022 Commissioner of the Year by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) and is a 2021 Baton Rouge Business Report Influential Women in Business Honoree, 2019 National Association of Social Workers Baton Rouge Leadership award recipient, 2019 – 2022 United State of Women Louisiana Ambassador, 2017 Business Report Forty Under 40 award recipient, 2015 MetroMorphosis Urban Leadership Development Initiative Fellow and is a 2008 graduate of Leadership Baton Rouge.

We Create Real Change

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