Mayor Toni Harp

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Stateswoman

Toni Harp, former State Senator, and former Mayor of New Haven, Connecticut, provides URU’s DEIA team with deep experience on the state and national level. She has been supporting URU since its inception, helping to shape URU’s programs and prioritize policy issues.

Toni Harp was the Homeless Service Director at the Cornell Scott Hill Health Center for more than 20 years. Her public service in elected office began with her election as a member of New Haven’s Board of Aldermen—for three terms—and continued with her service for 21 years as State Senator for the 10th District. For 11 years, Toni was co-chair of the legislature’s budget-writing Appropriations Committee, deftly balancing fiscal prudence with state government’s many financial obligations. In 2014 Toni became the first woman to be Mayor of New Haven and went on to serve three two-year terms.

As mayor, Toni made public safety a priority and never wavered in her commitment to community-based policing, through which crime prevention has equal weight with law enforcement, and the police department works with and among those it protects and serves. This approach, complemented with judicious deployment of cutting-edge technology, contributed to declining crime rates across-the-board each year throughout her tenure.

Toni has vast experience across DEIA and leadership development. Her expertise stems from a lifelong career driving private and public efforts to ensure social justice. As a policymaker, and public servant, Toni advises on high-level strategy insight

Toni earned a B.A. in English at Roosevelt University and an M.A. in Urban Design at Yale University.