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About the Dream | C. Diane Wallace Booker, Esq.
C. Diane Wallace Booker serves as Executive Director for the U.S. Dream Academy, Inc., a national nonprofit serving children of incarcerated parents and children falling behind in school. Since the inception of the organization in 1998, she has worked alongside the founder, Wintley Phipps, creating its organizational, programmatic, and fundraising infrastructure. Ms. Wallace Booker led in the development of the pilot and expansion of the innovative Dream Academy programs to 10 locations around the country. Currently, she maintains oversight of the Academy’s national programs, fundraising, and operations.
During her tenure, Ms. Wallace Booker has developed an expertise in nonprofit management, development, and implementation of afterschool education and mentor programs, incarceration effects on children and families and has extensive experience in administering government grants. Ms. Wallace Booker was accepted to and successfully completed the Stanford University, Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders in February 2006, and Harvard University, Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management in July 2007. She was a member of the Public Policy Council for National Mentoring Partnership for two years and was asked to serve on the Advisory Committee to revise the Elements of Effective Practice for mentoring. Prior to coming to the Dream Academy, Ms. Wallace Booker practiced law in the areas of family law, business law, and estate and trust planning. She also served as a consultant to the Howard County Circuit Court where she designed and implemented the first Family Law Case Management system for the county. The implementation of this system allowed for over 600 backlogged cases to be adjudicated or settled in less than a year.
She received her bachelor of science degree in communications, graduating cum laude from Bowie State University in 1992. She earned her juris doctor degree from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1996. In law school, Ms. Wallace Booker was a legal advocate for at-risk children and their families who suffered from lead paint poisoning while living in sub-standard housing. She also participated in the nationally ranked Law & Health Care Program and developed an interest in equality in health care for the poor and elderly. This interest led her to complete two fellowships: one for U.S. Senator Barbara Milkulski as a Staff Fellow for the U.S. Senate Committee on Aging to conduct research and develop legislative initiatives on health care issues that affect the elderly; the other was at the Maryland Office of the Attorney Advisor's Health Care Financial Agency where she worked on hospital and physician reimbursement issues.
Ms. Wallace Booker resides with her husband Robert and their two children. She is also active in her church in homeless ministries and currently serves as the home & school leader. She is a board member of the Youth Action Network of Central Florida and Tae Kwon Do Lifestyle Ministries. She enjoys mentoring law students and youth at the Dream Academy and for the past two years she has served as a judge for the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen competetion in Orlando, Florida. On May 3, 2013, Ms. Wallace Booker was named to The Daily Record's 2013 list of Maryland's Top 100 Women.