Our Leadership

Destiny Drake West, Founder & CEO

Destiny Drake West is the founder and chief executive officer of the Drake Institute of Women’s Policy. She leads research and technology development for the institute and establishes partnerships with civic organizations and members of state legislatures nationwide. She earned a Master of Advanced Study in Criminology, Law, and Society from the University of California, Irvine and was awarded the 2017 Dickman Graduate Research Award for Community Engagement.

Destiny is a Congressional candidate for Maryland’s 6th District, seeking to fill the open seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. She most recently served as a Senior Program Analyst for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). During her tenure, she led HUD’s Title V efforts on a joint agency initiative that aims to address homelessness nationwide. She has since resigned her position to dedicate more time to local community efforts.

Prior to joining HUD, Destiny served as a Senior Legislative Analyst at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services within the Health Resources and Services Administration, supporting six federal grant programs. These programs aim to diversify the Health workforce of the present and future.

For her leadership in areas of maternal health policy, homelessness, and criminal justice reform, Destiny has received numerous congressional awards, including a Certificate of Recognition from Vice President Kamala Harris (then Senator Harris), a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from Congresswoman Karen Bass, and a Certificate of Special Recognition from Congresswoman Maxine Waters. She has also been featured as a subject-matter expert on iHeartRadio, Speaker, AMFM Radio Network, YouTube, Mixcloud, iTunes and dozens of podcast sites

In 2016, Destiny was elected as a Los Angeles City official to serve as co-chair of the Empowerment Congress Central Area Neighborhood Development Council, representing 40,000 residents and stakeholders. During her tenure, she wrote and helped pass the council’s first homelessness policy initiative to improve outcomes around crime and vagrancy in the district.

In recent years, Destiny has served as a policy advisor in the office of Congressman Alcee Hastings and as a legislative officer for Prince George’s County Executive, Angela Alsobrooks. Destiny is also the former Legislative Director for the Maryland State Senate. She served as a senior advisor to eight Maryland State Senators from Prince George’s County. Her responsibilities included shepherding legislation through the senate, managing constituent relations, and planning/facilitating Delegation hearings, briefings, and leadership meetings. Destiny was also responsible for assisting with the local COVID-19 response, serving as the Senate Delegation’s primary point of contact for the Prince George’s County Executive’s office and the Prince George’s County Health Department in efforts to ensure that county residents, particularly those residing in hard-to-reach and underserved communities, had access to health care services (COVID-19 testing and vaccinations).