Tonyel Edwards

Program Director - Arts and Parks and Impact Opportunities

Tonyel leads the grants strategy to mobilize promising solutions for our region’s most critical issues. By listening to residents, leaders, and non-profit partners, she identifies innovations with community-wide impact. She also convenes stakeholders and shares knowledge to support the work of partner organizations. A sixth generation Houstonian, Tonyel is deeply connected to this city and approaches her work with humility and an open mind.

Her path to community investment represents a full circle from her start in investment banking as an analyst in global markets with Merrill Lynch. Along the way, Tonyel’s service motivation led her to education, where she served as an educator in Houston’s Third Ward through Teach for America. She also led the expansion of out-of-school time programming for Houston’s high school students as the executive director of DiscoverU.

Tonyel is an active member of the Junior League of Houston and is a senior fellow in the American Leadership Forum Class XLIII. She currently serves as an appointed member of the Texas Expanded Learning Opportunities Council. When she is not working, Tonyel enjoys spending quality time with her son, Mansa, and traveling with her husband to any location with a beautiful beach.

Tonyel holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in finance from Howard University. She also holds a Master of Education and Doctor of Education from the University of Houston’s College of Education.