Diane De La Santos has served as executive director of City on a Hill, in the heart of Milwaukee, since 2003. She began as a board member in 2001 and then became a loaned executive from Aurora Health Care two years later. In 2004, Diane left her position of 20 years as vice president of public affairs for the healthcare system to respond to her calling to urban ministry.
Previously, Diane held management positions with the Upjohn Company, and La Casa De Esperanza. She also served on a wide range of community boards, including the United Way of Waukesha County, the American Heart Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Milwaukee County, and the Waukesha Public Library.
In April of 2012, Diane was given the Wisconsin Hero Award by the state’s First Lady Tonette Walker for “her life of sacrificial giving and her extraordinary service as Executive Director of City on a Hill.” In 2001, Diane was honored as an Inspirational Leader in the Women of Influence program of The Business Journal.
Diane was engaged for several years in lay ministry at Oak Creek Assembly of God, where she taught Christian conflict management, led a women’s ministry, and developed a guest services program. In this role, she trained and led more than 200 ushers, greeters, parking lot attendants, welcome center, security and registration staff.
Diane did her undergraduate work at Michigan State University, where she majored in Ethnic and Intergroup Relations, and at Carroll University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Administration. Now an ordained minister, with seminary training from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Diane speaks in churches across Wisconsin and Northern Michigan on the biblical mandates to care for the poor and to work for social justice.
Before giving her life to Christ at age 39, Diane was a single mother and spent her early adult years living in poverty. She has a daughter, a son, and three granddaughters.