Tom Darden is the executive director of the Make It Right Foundation, the organization founded by actor Brad Pitt to build 150 affordable, green, high-design homes in New Orleans’s Lower Ninth Ward, a neighborhood devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Darden oversees a staff of 33 full-time employees including engineers, builders, landscape architects, homeownership counselors, and community organizers. He has has helped raise over $36 million from more than 31,000 donors, managed the design process with 21 architectural firms, and completed 40 homes, all of which are expected to be certified LEED Platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The Small Business Administration named Darden Louisiana’s 2009 Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Darden has also been interviewed by the New York Times, the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Associated Press, Metropolis, The Atlantic, Business Week, Forbes, Architectural Digest, CNN, the CBS Evening News, Fox News, MSNBC, and for a Spike Lee documentary.
Prior to joining Make It Right, Darden worked as a development consultant in Washington, D.C., evaluating former manufacturing and mining sites, including the site where the largest dinosaur bone unearthed on the east coast was discovered. In addition, Darden helped establish a start-up telecommunications company and founded Arbor Equity, a real estate firm in Raleigh, N.C. committed to sustainable development.