Carnegie Mellon University
February 05, 2019

Executive Leadership Academy at CMU Welcomes Inaugural Cohort Participants

Mara Falk
  • Tepper School of Business
  • 917-239-9453

The Executive Leadership Academy, a signature program of The Advanced Leadership Initiative and in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, has announced its inaugural cohort.

The Advanced Leadership Initiative is a new regional initiative whose mission is to address corporate diversity by investing in African American executive talent.

Carnegie Mellon serves as The Advanced Leadership Initiative's Academic Partner for the Executive Leadership Academy, an eight-month executive education program designed to provide the tools, exposure and training necessary to increase the visibility and success of high-performing African-Americans so that they can contribute to their organizations — and our community — at the highest levels.

The inaugural class includes:

  • Tynina Adams-Lucas, director of procurement at Gateway Health
  • Jessica Brooks, chief executive officer and executive director of the Pittsburgh Business Group on Health
  • Angela Campbell, executive director of the Center for Student Diversity & Inclusion at Carnegie Mellon University
  • Dina Clark, head of diversity and inclusion at Covestro
  • Alexis Clipper, director of Pharmacy Operations at UPMC Health Plan
  • Latika Davis-Jones, assistant deputy director at the Allegheny County Department of Human Services
  • Marlon Ferguson, executive director of the Veterans Place of Washington Boulevard
  • Eric Holmes, commander and chief of staff for the Pittsburgh Police
  • Patricia Howard, senior vice president of health plan operations at Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Nichelle Hughley, vice president of retail lending strategy and planning at PNC
  • Lance Hyde, diversity manager at EQT
  • Robert James, supplier diversity program director at Highmark Health
  • Steffanie Jasper, senior vice president and program manager of technology and innovation at PNC
  • Mashekia Jones-Slack, vice president of quality & safety at Allegheny Health Network
  • Taafoi Kamara, administrative director at UPMC Aging Institute
  • Robert Littles, director of Project Nuclear Engineering Services at Rolls-Royce
  • Kelly McCormick, director of enterprise human resources at Giant Eagle
  • Tracie McCormick, global treasury manager at Koppers
  • George Robinson, manager of supplier diversity at UPMC
  • Regina Scott, vice president of programs and services at the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh
  • Martin Shephard, land director at EQT
  • Michael Thomas, executive vice president of debt capital markets at PNC
  • Pamela Jenee Wilbon, chief program director of Pittsburgh Community Services, Inc.
  • Vann Williams, senior manager of the IT Service Desk at Wabtec

"These 24 individuals represent the future of African Americans in executive suites and boardrooms," said Evan Frazier, founding director of The Advanced Leadership Initiative, senior vice president of Community Affairs at Highmark Health and 1996 graduate of CMU with a master's degree in public management, marketing and planning. "Today represents the fulfillment of an initial vision to build a world-class executive education program that will advance African American executive leadership in the Pittsburgh Region. Our hope is to create ladders of opportunities for cohort members as they seek to make a positive impact in their chosen fields," Frazier continued.

"This unique program's three-pronged approach that encompasses academic excellence, one-on-one coaching and mentorship will change the Pittsburgh region," Robert Dammon, dean of CMU's Tepper School of Business, noted at the inaugural cohort's launch event.

Selected from a pool of nearly 60, these professionals will be the first to take advantage of an opportunity that pairs African-American executives with experienced executive coaches, executive mentors and word-class academic instruction from the Tepper School of Business.

Distinguished author Dennis Kimbro challenged cohort participants with a keynote address during the opening reception. Kimbro is a best-selling author, master trainer and professor at Clark Atlanta University School of Business Administration. His message of strategic achievement is expected to invigorate and motivate Executive Leadership Academy participants.

The Advanced Leadership Initiative supporters include Lead Contributors - The Heinz Endowments, Richard King Mellon Foundation, The Hillman Foundation; Presenting Sponsors - EQT Foundation, Highmark Health, PNC, and UPMC; and Gold Sponsors - Giant Eagle Foundation, Koppers and Covestro; plus, a number of other corporate and foundation supporters. The POISE Foundation serves as the fiscal sponsor for The Advanced Leadership Initiative.