Leadership Team

Combined, the three founders of Diploma Equity Project have spent over 50 years working within K-12 education to provide more equitable educational outcomes for Detroit young people. 

Melissa Hamann

Partner/Executive Director, Diploma Equity Project

Melissa Hamann has nearly twenty years of experience working in education reform and school management. Most recently, Melissa served as the Co-Founder, President and CEO of Promise Schools, a nonprofit school management company launched in 2013 which operates schools in and around Detroit to prepare students for success in college and beyond. 

Danielle North

Partner, Diploma Equity Project
Executive Director, Degree Forward

Danielle North is a wife, mother of three, long-distance runner, author and serial entrepreneur. North is a first-generation college graduate and holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Sociology from Central Michigan University. In 2008, North became a community developer with Warren-Conner Development Coalition in Detroit to make a lasting impact in her hometown.

Doug Ross

Partner, Diploma Equity Project

Doug has spent the last four decades working in economic development and education as a Michigan state senator, director of the Michigan Department of Commerce, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training, and founder of the University Prep and Promise Schools charter school networks in Detroit.