Black Think

Creating Collaborations to
Increase Advocacy

Since the Civil Rights era, the Black community has lagged behind other ethnic groups in key areas of well-being, including: education, overall health, income and career opportunities. National Black MBA Association’s Black Think Series features roundtable discussions that address critical issues facing Black professionals today. This invitation-only series brings together key influencers and stakeholders from across sectors to inspire collaboration, inform the development of public-private partnerships, along with creating action and advocacy plans to ensure that Black professionals develop and are recognized as industry leaders.

2017 Black Think: Increasing the Number of Black Professionals in the Executive Suite

Only 1% of Fortune 500 CEOs are Black

Studies consistently demonstrate that corporate profits, innovation and customer satisfaction are more likely to increase with diverse leadership. In fact, 20% of global CEOs cited the need for a Diversity and Inclusion strategy as a priority going forward. Yet, we still find a notable lack of diversity at the highest levels, where only 1% of 2016 Fortune 500 CEOs are black. This continued lack of diversity has a very real, negative impact on the American economy.

Philadelphia, PA - Sept 27, 2017
Increasing the Number of Black
Professionals in the Executive Leadership

The 2017 NBMBAA® Black Think will explore why Blacks continue to be underrepresented in the E-Suite, given the proven economic benefits of diversity. We will clarify the underlying issues while creating a space for understanding and implementing the most effective solutions. In collaboration with key thought partners representing business, government, academic and non-profit leaders, NBMBAA® will generate moment to diversity America’s executive workforce.


   Increasing Diversity in Executive Leadership

   Developing a Diverse Talent Pipeline

   Mentorship, Coaching & Sponsorship

   Chief Diversity Officers

   Creating Racial Equity in the Workplace

   Women of Color in the Workplace

   Black Entrepreneurship

Dr. Damon A. Williams, PhD
Keynote Speaker

The 2017 Black Think: Increasing Diversity in Executive Leadership, will take place at the NBMBAA® Annual Conference and Expo in Philadelphia on Sept 27. This invitation-only think tank will be led by guest speaker Dr. Damon A Williams, author of The Chief Diversity Officer and Strategic Diversity Leadership.


Dr. Damon A. Williams is a scholar, leader, and educator passionate about making organizations inclusive and excellent for all, creating equitable educational outcomes, and activating learning, youth development, and leadership in ways that are transformative and inspiring of new possibilities.


In September of 2013, he assumed a new role of global responsibility as the Senior Vice President for Program, Training, and Youth Development Services for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. In this role, he is the chief education officer for the Boys & Girls Club Movement, as he leads the national program strategy, focusing in on strengthening the Club experience for the nearly 4 million youth annually served by Clubs.


Prior to joining BGCA, he served for five years as associate vice chancellor, vice provost, chief diversity officer, and member of the educational leadership and policy analysis faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While there, he was the founding leader of the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement, a vertically integrated divisional infrastructure that includes the nation’s largest pre-college to college pipeline development program, the world’s only hip-hop urban arts scholarship program learning community, innovative campus-wide partnerships to enhance STEM achievement and faculty diversification, research centers, and a four-city partnership with the National Posse Foundation.


Dr. Williams has lectured at and been a consultant to more than 300 organizations and higher education institutions globally. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Negro Education and is a four-time scholar in residence for the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) leading sessions at two Greater Expectations and High Impact Practices (HIP) Institutes, and serving as a contributing author in their Inclusive Excellence Project. He has served as a two-time scholar in residence for the prestigious American Council of Education (ACE) Fellowship Mid-Year Institute, lecturing on issues of strategic diversity leadership, retention, youth development, pre-college to college pipeline programs, faculty diversity, inclusion, and change management. In addition, he currently serves on the ACE Equity and Inclusion Advisory Board, the UC Berkeley Equity and Inclusion Advisory Board, the Gallaudet University Diversity Advisory, and the National Diversity Council Executive Board. His most recent books, Strategic Diversity Leadership: Activating Change and Transformation In Higher Education and The Chief Diversity Officer: Strategy, Structure, and Change Management provide a sophisticated and nuanced approach to assist leaders with the overall process of leading diversity themed change and developing sound diversity infrastructures and strategies.


Dr. Williams received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, where his focus was in the area of organizational behavior and management. He received his master’s degree in educational leadership and his bachelor’s degree in black world studies and sociology both from Miami University.