Dr. Shirlana Dash

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Shirlana Dash is the Chief Executive Officer of SELF Inc. Leading the administration of strategic business operations, Dash brings more than 30 years of diverse experience and leadership serving families, children, seniors, and veterans in social services and public policy. Joining SELF Inc. in 2022, she has expanded her capacity to serve Philadelphia’s vulnerable communities through the nonprofit’s efforts in providing housing solutions, mentoring, advocacy, services, and resources.

She served as Social Work Manager for the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services for 21 years before joining SELF Inc. In that capacity, she navigated the judicial and public systems to provide real-life resolutions and opportunities for families encountering overwhelming societal challenges. Her diverse roles included case management, counseling, crisis intervention, and public policy advisor. Highly respected as a public policy expert and known for her affable disposition, Dash engendered respect with the families she served, peers, and counterparts within the judicial system. She also represented her local chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union.

She is also the founder and chair of “Dr. Dash and Friends Serving our Seniors and Veterans.” The Philadelphia-based nonprofit provides meals primarily to veterans and seniors. Dr. Dash and Friends Serving Our Seniors and Veterans has provided meals for over 3,000 veterans and seniors in Florida and Pennsylvania.

She previously held roles with Childcare Resource Developers (Keystone STARS), Laurel House, STARS Mentorship Program, and Zoe Bible Institute and Seminary. She served as a board member for EMIR (Every Murder Is Real) Healing Center and holds affiliations with YWCA Philadelphia, and the American Society for Public Administrators (ASPA).

She has a doctorate in Public Policy and Administration, Public Management, and Leadership from Walden University. She also holds a Master of Public Administration from Strayer University in Baltimore, Md., and a Bachelor of Social Work from Temple University in Philadelphia.

Dr. Dash is the recipient of the 2024 Dream Chasers Award, which is given to dynamic and successful business owners and community leaders. In 2023, she was honored by City and State PA with the Impact 75 Award for helping vulnerable individuals persevere through challenges through SELF.

A two-time published author of motivational and inspirational books, she enjoys spending time with family and friends. As a travelista, she has traveled to over 60 countries across the globe. She is also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc-Philadelphia Alumnae.