Known for a passion for policy, mentorship and relationship-building, Yvette K. Daniels (J.D.’89) recently completed her term as the leader of the University of Georgia Alumni Association Board of Directors. She became the organization’s first Black woman president in July 2021 when she began her two-year term.
Her vision for the association included three actions for every member of the Bulldog Nation. “I hope we get to do more connecting, more engaging, and let’s create that legacy that each of us wants for our alma mater – this great school, the University of Georgia,” she said in a video at the beginning of her presidency.
At a time when the world was starting to emerge from the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, she invited folks to come back to campus, to engage with students and to help alumni/alumnae who felt disconnected. She also asked fellow Bulldogs to share their UGA stories with her, and she was richly rewarded during her 24 months of service.
One of her last acts as the 77th president of the association was speaking at the spring 2023 UGA undergraduate commencement ceremony, where she said it had been her greatest honor to serve the university.
As she welcomed the newest graduates to the UGA alumni/alumnae family she said, “This family is 350,000 strong and no matter the road you took to Athens, the path you forged on campus or where your journey takes you, we are here for you – year-round, worldwide and lifelong. …. Your alumni association honors and celebrates [key moments like the back-to-back winning of the College Football Playoff National Championship and others] every day as we bring alumni together.”
She concluded by stating: “[I]t’s true, when you leave campus you will find that friendships continue and strangers proudly wear the G and greet each other at the airport. … You’ll find more than 80 alumni chapters ready to welcome you back to your hometown or to an entirely new city. There are no dues to be a part of our family, and we are ready to support you in the next chapter you are in. … Go Dawgs!”
During the ceremony, UGA President Jere W. Morehead (J.D.’80) recognized Daniels as a constant supporter of the university as well as her membership on the Alumni Association Board of Directors since 2015. “We appreciate her outstanding service and her unwavering commitment to her alma mater,” he said, adding that the “support and assistance of alumni are essential to the continued quest for excellence at the University of Georgia.”
Daniels, a Double Dawg and native Atlantan, currently serves as the deputy director of workforce management at the Georgia Department of Public Health. Her work involves overseeing university relations, employee engagement, worksite wellness and other special projects.
Previously she was a division director of health promotion at the GDPH and held lobbying and leadership positions at the Georgia Department of Community Health and the Georgia Department of Human Resources. After graduating from the School of Law, she worked as an assistant state attorney in Florida for more than six years.
Daniels has said that some of the best advice she has ever received includes: Always do your best, be excellent and be kind.
Last fall she was the recipient of a UGA Blue Key Service Award, which is reserved for distinguished individuals who have made a major contribution to UGA, the state and nation.
Sources: UGA Marketing and Communications and UGA Development and Alumni Relations