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November 2021

Lucas Hall - Leavey School of Business

Lucas Hall - Leavey School of Business

Santa Clara University Announces Third Black Corporate Board Readiness Cohort in 2021

Pioneering program drives authentic board diversity in first year.

Pioneering program drives authentic board diversity in first year.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Nov. 18, 2021—The Silicon Valley Executive Center (SVEC) at Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business today announced the third cohort of its pioneering Black Corporate Board Readiness (BCBR) program, which welcomed its first cohort in February. 

“Three full cohorts of highly talented and qualified Black leaders in the first year of the BCBR program is evidence that there is no ‘pipeline problem’ when it comes to corporate board diversity,” said Dennis Lanham, executive director of SVEC and co-founder of the BCBR program. “We are delighted that so many participants from the first two cohorts are already landing public and private corporate board seats.” 

Santa Clara University is proud to be home to our stellar Black Corporate Board Readiness program,” said Leavey School of Business Dean Ed Grier. “Diversity in corporations—just as in higher education broadens the knowledge base and gives invaluable insights into an increasingly changing and competitive world

Guided by a Program Advisory Council composed of some of the most illustrious Black corporate directors in the US, the BCBR launched in February 2021, and quickly found robust demand for second and third cohorts— including strong responses from corporations hoping to diversify their boards, executive search firms, and venture capital and private equity firms seeking diversify their portfolio companies. 

The program model is fueled by a community of facilitators, mentors, and advisors—most persons of color themselves— who help participants understand the nuts and bolts of corporate governance, the realities and responsibilities of being Black on a board, and guidance on seeking appropriate board seats. 

Talent partners from venture capital and private equity firms, search consultants working on board placements, and chairs of nominating/governance committees will have an opportunity to meet BCBR C3 participants virtually on January 27, 2022. 

The BCBR program was built on the foundation of the Women’s Corporate Board Readiness program which the SVEC launched in May of 2019 and has now graduated a total of 80 incredible executive women who are ready to serve on corporate boards. 

Applications are open for the next three BCBR cohorts in 2022 starting in February, June, and November. Corporations and foundations interested in sponsoring the BCBR community can contact Lanham at

About Santa Clara University

Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University sits in the heart of Silicon Valley—the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial region. The University’s stunningly landscaped 106-acre campus is home to the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asís. SCU has among the best four-year graduation rates in the nation and is rated by PayScale in the top 1 percent of universities with the highest-paid graduates. SCU has produced elite levels of Fulbright Scholars as well as four Rhodes Scholars. With undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, and graduate programs in six disciplines, the curriculum blends high-tech innovation with social consciousness grounded in the tradition of Jesuit, Catholic education. For more information see

Media Contacts

Deepa Arora | SCU Communications |

Elliot Zanger | SCU Communications |


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