Leigh Ann Buchanan
Executive Director, Venture Cafe Miami
Leigh-Ann A. Buchanan, Esq., is the founding Executive Director of Venture Café Miami. In this role, she works to facilitate sustainable growth, increased diversity and inclusion, and greater connectivity within Miami’s innovation and entrepreneurial community through high impact programing and strategic initiatives. Since its mid-2016 launch, VCM’s innovation programming has attracted over 33,000 attendees, resulting in content partnerships with 800+ organizations and 1500+ free educational sessions.
Leigh-Ann frequently speaks on and writes about cultivating inclusive innovation communities, experiential leadership development and strategies for social justice innovation. Previously, she served as legal counsel to entrepreneurs, startups and multinational corporations in a wide variety of complex business litigation matters and commercial disputes.
Leigh-Ann is the founder of the Nyah Project, an exclusive fellowship which develops purposeful youth leaders of color from underserved communities through transformative experiences abroad.
As the chair of the American Bar Association’s Coalition on Racial & Ethnic Justice, she spearheads the ABA JusticeHack national series of interdisciplinary hackathons designed address tensions points between law enforcement and communities of color.
She has been recognized as a Florida Influencer (2019, 2018); one of Miami’s 50 Most Powerful and Influential Black Business Leaders (2019); Harvard Business School Young American Leader (2018); Miami Fellow (2017); Black Enterprise Magazine, Miami Tech Trailblazer (2017); Dade County Bar Association, Woman on the Rise Award (2017); Legacy Magazine, Under 40 Achiever (2017); Miami Girls Foundation (2017); Miami Dade Chamber Young Innovator of the Year (2016); Aspen Institute’s National Working Group on Inclusive Innovation (2016); American Bar Association Top 40 Young Lawyers (2016); Bethune Cookman University, 40 Under 40 (2016); Daily Business Review, Rising Star (2015); Greater Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce, HYPE Award finalist (2014); National Bar Association Women Lawyers Division Rising Star Award (2013); and South Florida’s 40 Under 40 Black Leaders (2013).