Paula K. Davis


A leader in the education community is paying it forward.

For nearly the last four decades, Paula K. Davis has dedicated her life to the education community in the place she’s always called home – Pittsburgh. Born and raised in Northside and a graduate of Gateway High School in Monroeville, her passion for communication and education started at a young age. She received her bachelor’s degree in English and her master’s in communication from the University of Pittsburgh where she’s worked for 37 of the last 40+ years. She is currently the Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Schools of the Health Sciences and is also currently working on her dissertation in education.

“The best part about my job is the people I get to work with every day”, said Davis. “I get to interact with both our longstanding and bright new faculty who are all innovative and passionate about equity, justice and inclusion, and we’re surrounded by the next generation that will continue to pave the way.”

As part of her commitment to equity and inclusion, Paula is very passionate about giving back to the community. She has been a longtime United Way donor and member of United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) for nearly ten years. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of WLC – from the networking events, to working alongside influential CEO’s, attorneys, and community leaders to help make a difference. WLC offers a front row seat to truly understand the diverse needs of our community. It enables us to put our ideas into action to make an impact.”

“I guess my passion for philanthropy really started when my son was diagnosed with Autism,” said Davis. “We received so much support from the community that really helped shape the course of his life. I don’t even want to think about what his life would be like if we didn’t have that support system, so my commitment to United Way is my way of paying it forward to those going through what I did so many years back.”

Paula has also been involved with many other organizations throughout the years but has focused more of her time and effort on United Way since their community impact is more apparent. “The proof lies in the success of programs like 211, helping families in crisis, supporting mothers trying to keep their families together. The needs are great, but they are chipping away at them one person, one family at a time.”

Paula also serves on the board of M-PowerHouse, a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting underserved youth and adults to careers and educational opportunities, and is also on the board for the Pittsburgh Community Broadcast Corporation.

To learn more about United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council, contact Lynne Popash at in Allegheny County, Terri Dominick at in Westmoreland County, or Sherrie Dunlap Gallagher at in Butler County.