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Joseph Daniels - Founding President of of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum

Joseph (Joe) Daniels, a distinguished leader in the nonprofit sector, has over two decades of experience in CEO roles. Recognized for his skills in capital creation, team building, and cultivating robust stakeholder relationships, he stands as a beacon of effective leadership.

Joseph Daniels’ impactful journey includes being the founding president and CEO of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Over a decade at the helm, he orchestrated the institution’s development, planning, and ongoing operations. Through his leadership, the organization raised over $500 million and fostered a team of 500 personnel, all while maintaining an operating budget exceeding $80 million. In close partnership with chairman and former mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg and a diverse array of stakeholders, including 9/11 families, Joseph Daniels forged a path of resilience and remembrance.

Transitioning into the role of CEO and president of the National Medal of Honor Museum, Joe Daniels was instrumental in assembling an esteemed board of directors, securing $80 million in funding, and overseeing the design selection process for the museum that will honor American heroism.

Joseph Daniels also served as the CEO of America250, steering the course of celebrations for America’s 250th anniversary. Leading a dynamic team, he conceptualized and executed plans to mark this historic milestone.

Joe Daniels began his nonprofit journey with the Robin Hood Foundation, where he led a meaningful initiative focused on providing libraries in schools serving underprivileged communities. This endeavor exemplified his commitment to social impact and community enrichment.

Joseph Daniels holds a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Carey Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in history from Washington University in St. Louis.

Joe Daniels and his wife, Naomi, have lived happily in New York City for over a quarter of a century, actively participating in their local community and finding spiritual belonging at the Tamid synagogue. With a legacy of transformative leadership, Daniels remains a steadfast advocate for meaningful change, leaving an indelible mark on the nonprofit landscape.


What is your typical day, and how do you make it productive?

When I’m leading an organization, I usually start my day by writing in the morning. I like to make sure that I have a little time alone in order to gather my thoughts for the day. I also make it a point to take a walk to the office. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to live close to where I’ve worked. I wake up in the morning, like many people in the workforce do, thinking about all of the immediate crises to deal with and everything that has to get done.


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