We are thrilled to announce Umut Dursun, MA, has returned to YES Institute as our new Executive Director of Education in July 2020. As our Educational Consultant since 2017, Umut’s expertise with adult learning and virtual platforms is a critical support as we transition to 100% online education. Umut most recently served on staff with Teach for America (TFA), cultivating valuable relationships across the US in the K-12 and college sectors which can expand the reach of our work. While at TFA, he served on the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Advisory Council, led their Pride Affinity Resource Group initiatives, and as a former Sergeant in US Marines continues to serve on the Board of the TFA Military Veteran’s Council.
More About Umut
Umut Dursun is a former Marine, award-winning saxophonist, and 2011 TFA Miami-Dade Alumni. Inspired by the impact he was able to have as a sergeant in the Marine Corps, Umut chose to use his leadership skills and continue his impact by addressing the most pressing issue facing our country today: educational inequity. His great passion is to open conversations that empower people to express themselves authentically and bring awareness to changes needed in order to create equality for all individuals.
As a high school teacher he noticed disparities in mental health access and the impact this has on educational outcomes. He left the classroom to work in suicide and anti-bullying prevention and has partnered with school districts across the country to support the creation and implementation of anti-bullying policies that address the needs of students impacted by gender and sexuality.
Sharing from his own experience of transitioning after being assigned “female” at birth, Umut is a highly requested speaker at conferences around the country engaging audiences that range from teenagers and college students, educators and school systems leaders, to mental health and medical professionals.