Celebrating 120 years — the right leader at the right time ATLANTA, GA  — YWCA of Greater Atlanta today announced that Danita V. Knight has been appointed the new CEO of YWCA of Greater Atlanta, replacing Sharmen Gowens who announced her retirement earlier this year.  Ms. Knight will officially assume her role as CEO in January 2023.    

“After a wide-ranging and thorough national search, led by Boardwalk Consulting (a national firm based in Atlanta), we have found an accomplished and experienced person to lead our organization.  Danita is well respected in the Atlanta community and will provide significant thought leadership.  She will take YWCA of Greater Atlanta to greater heights as we confront so many issues that directly impact women and girls, says Jennifer Winn, Board Chair.    

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to serve as the next CEO of YWCA of Greater Atlanta. I am coming to this organization with so much reverence for its 120 year history; and for the leadership, staff and volunteers who have worked so diligently over the decades to bring its mission “to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all” to life.  I look forward to working with the board, staff and community partners to further enhance the lives of women and their families in this community,” says Danita Knight. Knight currently serves as Vice President for Communications and Marketing at Agnes Scott College.  She is a past Board Chairperson on the Atlanta Women’s Foundation where she led the fundraising efforts for “Numbers Too Big to Ignore” luncheons for four years.  She has also served as VP for Public Affairs and Community Relations at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in Indianapolis.  Other affiliations include Vice Chair of the Brookhaven Social Justice, Race and Equity Commission and was part of the original group of “seed funders” responsible for bringing the WNBA Dream to Atlanta.  Knight is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, Billy Knight (former General Manager of the Atlanta Hawks).  The Knights have two adult daughters.    

ABOUT YWCA OF GREATER ATLANTA YWCA OF GREATER ATLANTA IS A LOCAL CHAPTER OF YWCA USA and has been a voice for change for women and families in Georgia since its founding at Spelman College in 1902. Our organization’s foundation is built upon a history of mobilizing diverse groups of women leaders to identify community problems and advocate for solutions. To affect long-term change, YWCA of Greater Atlanta addresses the needs of women and girls at multiple levels, providing direct services and programs in tandem with awareness raising and public policy analysis. By focusing on advocacy and social justice, health and safety, and education and economic empowerment, we work to improve the lives of women and girls and their families, and to create safer, healthier, more equitable communities in Georgia. Visit for more information.




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