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First Cohort of Black Corporate Board Readiness Professionals Convenes at Santa Clara University

Seasoned executives from the realms of high tech, entertainment, fashion, finance, professional sports and more have joined the inaugural cohort of Santa Clara University’s new Black Corporate Board Readiness program.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 19, 2021—Seasoned executives from the realms of high tech, entertainment, fashion, finance, professional sports and more have joined the inaugural cohort of Santa Clara University’s new Black Corporate Board Readiness program. 

The program, which starts online Feb. 4, will prepare senior Black executives for service on boards of private and public companies in Silicon Valley, across the state, and nationwide. More than 30 Black executives with extensive personal experience on corporate boards across the U.S. have joined with SCU to facilitate program modules and serve as mentors and advisors to the participants. 

The cohort of 28 includes Black professionals from six states and numerous industries, with depth and breadth of professional experience. 

"I'm honored to participate in this program alongside incredible leaders, mentors and advisors,” said Ebony Beckwith, chief philanthropy officer, Salesforce and CEO, Salesforce Foundation. “It's important to create opportunities for aspiring corporate directors, and this program will provide the tools needed to shape the next phase of my career."

Lockie Andrews, CIO & CDO, UNTUCKit

Karen Johnson, Medicare Officer Centene Corporation 

Michael Armstrong, EVP Worldwide TV, Paramount Pictures

Lloyd Johnson, CEO Chief Legal Exec LLC

Keysha Bailey, CFO Rocketship

Jonathan Kelly, President Asymmetric Holdings

Anthony Barber, SVPPrimo Water

Latanya Mapp-Frett, President & CEO Global Fund for Women

Ebony Beckwith, CEO Salesforce Foundation

Paul Martin, SVP & Chief Diversity Officer Sony Pictures

Kelvin Beachum, NFL Athlete, Investor, Philanthropist, Speaker

Merritt McKenzie, President Aveanna Healthcare

Paul Campbell, CEO Elovee

Hugh Molotsi, CEO Ujama

Jackie Copeland, Founder & President, the WISE Fund

Guy Primus, CEO Valence Enterprises

Craig Cuffie, SVP & Chief Procurement Officer, Salesforce

Andrea Rice, Managing Director MLT

Keith Dorsey, Board Member, Orion Talent

Jessica Ross, SVP Finance Salesforce

John Driver, CEO Lynx Technology

Daniel Tarekegn, Program Management Google

Kenneth Epps, Principal CEO ThreeNineteen

Erin Teague, Director of Product - YouTube Google

Joe Hurd, Operating Partners, SOSV LLC

Verdell Walker, Head of Kids Content Spotify

Victor Hymes, Managing Member Legato Capital Management

Stasia Washington, Managing Director First Foundation

The program comes at a time when a new law in California requires publicly traded companies in the state to add at least one member of an underrepresented community to their board of directors by the end of this year, and the Nasdaq stock exchange is requiring companies to disclose board diversity and explain shortfalls. 

“The community of facilitators, mentors, and advisors that has come together to accompany participants through this pioneering program is truly inspiring; I am proud to be a part of it,” said Robin L. Washington, former chief financial officer of Gilead Sciences who serves on the boards of Salesforce, Honeywell International, and Alphabet. “We are committed to contributing to diversity in the boardroom by raising visibility of talented executives who are capable and prepared to serve on corporate boards." 

Offered through Santa Clara University’s Silicon Valley Executive Center, the BCBR program seeks to accelerate diversity in corporate governance with a goal of better business performance and promoting racial justice. Sponsors of the inaugural BCBR cohort are Diversified Search, Gunderson Dettmer, Skadden, and Wilson Sonsini Foundation. 

The BCBR program content comprises three major categories: the nuts and bolts of corporate governance; value proposition and recruiting process for board membership; and, authentic discussions about the experiences and unique responsibilities as a Black board member. In addition to more than a dozen facilitated modules, each participant will engage in four hours of individualized mentoring and will meet a customized panel of senior advisers who will provide further feedback and networking recommendations.

As part of the launch of the BCBR, Santa Clara University is hosting a series of Conversations on Diversity in Silicon Valley. Registration is free and open to the public.

About Silicon Valley Executive Center

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, one of the most dynamic business environments in the world, the Silicon Valley Executive Center (SVEC) at Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business has provided specialized programs for businesses, universities and organizations around the world for over sixty years. SVEC offers courses and customized learning in topics ranging from corporate governance, innovation and entrepreneurship to creating high-performing teams. SVEC also offers certification in equity compensation through the Certified Equity Professional Institute (CEPI), a Certificate of Advanced Accounting Proficiency Program (CAAP), and a CFP® Certification in Financial Planning. To learn more, visit our website.

About Leavey School of Business

Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business offers one of the nation’s best graduate business programs ranked No. 10 Online MBA by Poets & Quants, No. 11 Executive MBA by U.S News & World Report, No. 25 ranked Evening MBA by U.S News & World Report and No. 25 ranked Online MBA by The Princeton Review. For more information, visit

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University is a private Jesuit, Catholic University in the epicenter of Silicon Valley, infusing ethics and social consciousness into a rigorous cross-disciplinary education for its nearly 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students. For more information see

Media Contact

Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Communications || 408-554-5121

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