Brenda W. McDuffie

Brenda W. McDuffie is an active community champion who advocates for systemic change and action to make life better for all people in the Western New York region and beyond.

The first woman President and CEO of the Buffalo Urban League, Inc., Brenda retired in September 2021 but never stopped using her voice for and serving others. Under her leadership, the Buffalo Urban League grew to serve more than 20,000 individuals annually, addressing their health, economic, and social needs. With Brenda’s direction, the Urban League achieved recognition throughout western New York for their advocacy and exemplary holistic work strengthening families, raising education outcomes, addressing health and economic inequities, and creating opportunities for individuals and businesses to prosper.

Brenda’s personal recognition of the value and gifts of every individual has given her a unique ability to effectively work with people from all walks of life – from grassroots to grass tops; from young to old. Some of her past and current volunteer board service includes: Greater Buffalo Savings Bank Board (founding member); Independent Health Association; Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (Executive Committee); the Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation; Buffalo State College Board of Trustees; University at Buffalo Council; Buffalo and Erie County Workforce Development Board (Vice Chair); New York State Re-Entry Council; New York State Farmer Labor Wage Board (Chair); Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Collective (Chair); and the National Urban League. She also currently serves as the first woman Chair of the Erie County Industrial Agency (ECIDA). Each year over the last decade she was recognized by Business First as one of the most influential leaders in Western New York, being inducted into their Business Hall of Fame in 2021.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Brenda received her bachelor’s degree in Human Services from Buffalo State College and graduate certification in Human Resources from the University at Buffalo School of Management. Brenda and her husband, Gerald, currently reside in Buffalo where they raised their children. Her faith continues to allow her to live a richly blessed life.