The Advanced Leadership Institute and Carnegie Mellon University Announce Inaugural Cohort of the National Executive Leadership Academy

Isabella Moreland

After five successful years of operating the Executive Leadership Academy regionally, The Advanced Leadership Institute (TALI) and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) officially launched the National Executive Leadership Academy on Monday, August 14th. Kickoff festivities will commence on August 17th, with a special reception at CMU where Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey, keynote speaker Darrell Smalley- Office Managing Partner / Principal at Ernst & Young LLP, and members from the TALI community, will help welcome the inaugural cohort.

TALI’s National Executive Leadership Academy, delivered in partnership with Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business, will be offered in a hybrid format to accommodate participants from different cities and regions. While the national program will mirror the regional Executive Leadership Academy, there will be three months of online instruction, plus two, one-week in-person sessions at the Tepper School of Business in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Participants will benefit from academic instruction specifically geared to the unique challenges that Black professionals face where various topics, such as “Resilience for Executives of Color,” “Asset Framing,” and “Global Strategy and Management,” will be covered. They will also benefit from executive coaching, mentor identification support, and peer networking. This four-pronged approach is unique and unmatched and has been proven to be effective in helping participants maximize their potential.

“As we expand, TALI remains committed to positioning Black professionals for executive advancement,” said Evan Frazier, President and CEO, The Advanced Leadership Institute. “I am excited and encouraged that the National Executive Leadership Academy will allow us to broaden our reach and impact. The 16 impressive leaders selected as national cohort members this year will learn new perspectives, build valuable relationships, and enhance their leadership capabilities.”

“Carnegie Mellon University is honored to serve as TALI’s academic partner in this important effort. These past five years of serving in this capacity have been phenomenal! We have watched impeccable talent come through the regional Executive Leadership Academy program, and we are expecting great things from this national cohort as well,” said Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou, Dean and Professor of Finance, Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business.

Congratulations to the 16 program participants selected for the 2023 National Executive Leadership Academy cohort:

Douglas Blanchard – Assistant Dean, AB Freeman School of Business, Tulane University (LA)

Alina Butler – Head of Global Diversity & Inclusion, Wabtec Corporation (TX)

Stephan Coleman – Market Managing Director, Assets, PNC (CA)

Faith Cooper – Regional Director, Southern Border, International Rescue Committee (VA)

Jean Denis – Vice President, IT – Services & Customer Experience, Wabtec Corporation (PA)

Adaora Emembolu – Human Resources Director, Benefits, Giant Eagle (FL)

Darrell Farewell – Executive Director, Finance & Administration, Wake Forest University School of Business (NC)

Juliet Igboanusi – Innovation Alliance Manager (Energy Efficiency), North America, Covestro LLC (TX)

Melonie Jackson – VP, Human Resources, UPMC (PA)

Michael Keeler – District Managing Director, FedEx Ground (TX)

Zak Koné – Capital Investment Portfolio Management, Director, North America, Covestro LLC (TX)

Chymeka Olfonse – Managing Director, Adults & Household Supports, Robin Hood Foundation (NY)

Oluwatosin (Tosin) Otulana – Head of Procurement, New Programs, BAE Systems (TX)

Darren Pagan – Managing Director, FedEx Ground (NJ)

Raquel Ettrick Thompson – Managing Director, Divisional Global Head of Technology, Cyber Risk Management & Third Party Governance, BNY Mellon (NJ)

Derek Williams – Vice President, Key Accounts Serving Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, Wabtec Corporation (TX)


About TALI

The mission of The Advanced Leadership Institute (TALI) is to cultivate Black executive leadership to strengthen companies, institutions, and communities.

TALI is supported by major corporations and foundations including Founding Underwriters: BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Highmark Foundation, and Richard King Mellon Foundation; Excellence Partners: Henry L. Hillman Foundation and Highmark; Lead Contributors: BNY Mellon, Eden Hall Foundation, and The Heinz Endowments. Presenting Sponsors: Giant Eagle, Highmark Health, PNC, and UPMC. Gold Sponsors: American Eagle Outfitters, Bank of America, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, CNX, Covestro, Dollar Bank, Duquesne Light Company, FedEx Ground, FHLBank Pittsburgh, Koppers, PPG, and Wabtec Corporation; Silver Sponsors: Pittsburgh Legal Diversity and Inclusion Coalition; and Bronze Sponsors.