As executive director of TURN, Mark Toney sets the organization’s strategic course and directs TURN’s legal and political advocacy on behalf of over 37 million Californians. Before coming to TURN in January 2008 Toney ran a successful nonprofit consulting business focused on coaching executive directors and effective strategic planning. He has substantial experience in nonprofit leadership, development, fundraising and organizing.
Toney was the Executive Director of the Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO) in Oakland from 1999 to 2003, where he initiated a major realignment of CTWO organizing, training and communication resources. He also worked as Senior Research Associate for the Applied Research Center in Oakland. Previously, Toney founded Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE) in Providence, Rhode Island, working on such issues as benefits for home daycare providers, parent involvement in bilingual education, and preventing utility shut-offs in the winter for low-income families. He was the Executive Director/Chief Organizer at DARE from 1986-1994. Before that Toney was Lead Organizer with Workers Association for Guaranteed Employment, working for welfare rights in Providence.
Toney received his BA from Brown University and holds a Doctorate in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley. He is also Kellogg National Leadership Fellow and his leadership accomplishments have been featured in Mother Jones Magazine and Brown Alumni Monthly.