Leigh-Ann Buchanan

Leigh-Ann A. Buchanan, Esq., is a founder, investor, and strategic advisor. Her body of work leverages over 15 years of experience as an attorney and social impact executive to explore how equity intersects with tech, innovation and social investment to transform communities. 

Her insights and ideas have been featured in the New York Times, Inc. Magazine, NPR, PBS, Bloomberg, the American Psychological Association, ABA Journal among others Notably, through a diverse portfolio of initiatives, including Nyah Project, Tech Equity Miami, Opportunity Connect and Venture Cafe Miami, Leigh-Ann has helped unlock over $75 million in philanthropic investment to bridge opportunity and access gaps for underrepresented communities.

She currently serves as the President & CEO of the Miami-Dade Innovation Authority, which accelerates the discovery and commercialization of technologies that solve critical public challenges by investing in startup companies and facilitating collaboration between private innovators and the public sector.

President and CEO, Miami-Dade Innovation Authority
As an advisor, she works closely with public, private and philanthropic sector leaders from Fortune 500 companies, family offices to private foundations to design strategies that leverage tech and innovation to create more equitable and inclusive social investment outcomes. 

Leigh-Ann is also the founder of Nyah Project, which clears the pathway to college for underrepresented students through leadership training and tech based tools designed to remove the practical and systemic barriers to higher education. Under her leadership, 100% of Nyah Fellows attend college and over 90% win scholarships — accumulating over $26 million in scholarships since 2014. 

She is passionate about elevating the stories of inspiring innovators through content production projects, including the award-winning Innovation City podcast and the Hustle To Scale documentary, which was licensed by PBS for distribution. 

Leigh-Ann previously served as Chair of the American Bar Association Coalition on Racial & Ethnic Justice. She holds executive certificates from Harvard Business School, INSEAD and Columbia Business School as well as a J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law and a B.A from Bethune-Cookman University. 

She was raised in Vancouver, Canada and has traveled to more than 50 countries to date.