Lenita Dunlap, CEO

Lenita Dunlap, MPA, MA has more than 18 years working in educational and nonprofit organizations that uplift and empower young people and their families. Appointed CEO of Heart House in 2014, Lenita advocates and leads a team of experts who guide and nurture the refugee and underprivileged children of Vickery Meadow in Dallas to lead full lives.

Through her leadership, Heart House has grown and deepened its impact, and today continues to make the difference in the lives of more than 240 children annually. Under her leadership, Heart House raised awareness of refugee families in Dallas, as well as secured important partners such as Meadows Foundation, Communities Foundation of Texas, Harold Simmons Foundation and Rees-Jones Foundation.

Lenita was a featured speaker at the 2019 Australia and New Zealand Refugee Trauma Recovery in Resettlement Conference in Sydney.  The conference was an opportunity for Heart House to share our model, and  dive deeper into the effects of trauma on the brain in the context of refugees and observe different models of implementations for various therapies.

Lenita previously has held roles in fundraising, external affairs and management at the Center for Nonprofit Management and the Dallas Theological Seminary, Perspectives Charter School and Healthy Schools Campaign. Lenita graduated from the University of Illinois and holds Masters degrees in Public Administration and Christian Education; and is recipient to numerous Certificates of Nonprofit Management, and Marketing. Lenita is a PhD student at UT Arlington, studying Public and Urban Administration. Lenita has dedicated her life to service, driven by the desire for impacting the lives of those around her. She is married to her love Garland and they have one inquisitive son, Luke who blesses their lives with so much uniqueness and intelligence that it’s hard to believe he’s only seven years of age.