Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has announced her second appointment to Northern Michigan University's Board of Trustees. Donna Murray-Brown of Detroit will fill a vacancy created by the resignation of a trustee who moved out of state. She is the president and CEO of the Michigan Nonprofit Association.
According to its website, the MNA is a statewide membership organization dedicated to serving the diverse nonprofit sector through advocacy, training, technology services and civic engagement. Murray-Brown leads MNA's strategic direction and overall operations.
“We are delighted to welcome Donna Murray-Brown to the NMU Board of Trustees,” said NMU President Fritz Erickson. “Having someone with her level of expertise working in the nonprofit world and with grant development will be very beneficial. As a Detroit resident, the perspective she brings to the board also creates opportunities for Northern to have broader engagement in southeast Michigan.”
“I am honored to serve on the Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees, and I look forward to advocating for the students who will become Michigan's future leaders,” said Murray-Brown.
Prior to being named president and CEO in 2013, Murray-Brown served as director of the Metro Detroit Partnership Office and senior director of capacity-building for MNA. In this dual role, she led a successful strategic alliance program for arts and culture organizations in metro Detroit and led the merger negotiations of four organizations to create the Belle Isle Park Conservancy. She also attracted national program partnerships and investment to the region, including New York-based National Urban Fellows and Wisconsin-based Public Allies.
Before joining MNA, Murray-Brown was vice president and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) director for Charter One Bank, where she developed and executed strategy for CRA compliance. She also strengthened the company's business and corporate citizenship with key partnerships of more than 100 civic and community-based organizations.
Murray-Brown is the board chair for the National Council of Nonprofits, vice chair of the Board of Trustees for Detroit Public Television and a member of the Board of Directors for Michigan Associations of United Ways. She earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Central State University. Murray-Brown also holds certifications in corporate community affairs from Boston College and strategic perspectives in nonprofit management from Harvard Business School.
Whitmer made the appointment after former trustee Bridget Summers resigned because she was relocating out of Michigan. Murray-Brown's term on the NMU Board of Trustees expires Dec. 31, 2026.