Darren Hamm

  • Instructor of Nonprofit Management and Leadership


  • BA, painting and drawing, Kent State University
  • MNO, Case Western Reserve University


Darren T. Hamm is an instructor of nonprofit management and leadership in Oberlin’s Music Leadership Career Community in Oberlin Conservatory.

For more than fifteen years, Hamm has worked as a volunteer, intern, staff, manager, and director in the non-profit sector, helping to improve operations, build nationally recognized programs, secure highly competitive awards, and maintain quality during periods of significant organizational growth. 

Hamm is also the director of the Cleveland, Ohio office of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. He previously served as executive director of Refugee Response in Cleveland, an organization focused on supporting refugee community integration through youth mentoring and support, employment support, multilingual resources, and agricultural programming. Through his service on the leadership committee of the Refugee Services Collaborative, he worked in partnership with Cleveland’s refugee resettlement and social services organizations.

Hamm served as the first executive director of the Oberlin Center for the Arts, from 2017-2021, where he provided leadership and established the organization’s vision, programming, and support for advancing arts and culture throughout the region.

Much of Hamm’s work has involved developing collaborative partnerships and seeking innovative ways to address systemic issues. While working during the housing crisis and Great Recession, as well as with the refugee community, Hamm contributed to a number of online, print, radio, and television sources including features in ABC News, NBC News, Newsweek, the Huffington Post, and Univision, along with other international journalistic efforts to advocate on behalf of the community he served.

Hamm earned a Bachelor of Arts in Painting and Drawing at Kent State University and a Master of Nonprofit Management at Case Western Reserve University. He remains active as a volunteer in community projects, as a visual artist, and as a performing musician throughout Northeast Ohio.

Fall 2021

Music Advocacy — PACE 107