Meet Our 2019 Cohort of Fellows: Adam Kiki-Charles

MIT, Sloan School of Management

Adam Kiki-Charles is an MBA candidate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management. Born to a mother from Benin and a father from Haiti, Kiki-Charles was raised on Long Island, NY before his family moved to Bermuda, where he attended high school. He attended Brown University, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science. For the past three years, he has served as Treasurer on the Brown University Transgender, Bisexual, Gay & Lesbian Alumni Association Board.

He started his career at Epic Systems, an electronic medical records software company. After leaving Epic, he worked as a field organizer on the 2012 Obama campaign and then as an assistant to Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code, during her 2013 run for New York City Public Advocate. He returned to the healthcare industry thereafter and has a total of seven years of medical software consulting experience, most recently working as a Senior Consultant for Nordic Consulting Partners, specializing in the implementation and optimization of revenue cycle applications for hospitals systems across the US.

What made you consider business school?

I considered business school because I wanted to increase my scope of impact and realized I needed to expand my existing skills. I'm specifically passionate about improving outcomes for entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities, namely founders identifying as people of color, women, or LGBTQ+. I hope to use the skills I gain in business school to expand the existing pipeline for entrepreneurs from these communities.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?

I'm most excited about being in an environment that challenges my perspectives and allows me to grow. I am also excited to create connections with my peers, both at MIT and across different business schools.

Who are some leaders (in the LGBT community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?

Tristian Walker is the CEO of Walker & Company Brands, a health and beauty company. I respect that he saw a need for health and beauty products designed for people of color and did something about it. Trevor Noah is the host of the Daily Show. His perspectives are the result of living at the intersection of different identities. Even if I don't always agree with his conclusions, I appreciate his thought-provoking commentary. Ava Duvernay is a writer, producer, and director. I believe her work is powerful in its ability to humanize the lived experiences of oppressed peoples and to contextualize their stories within the structural forces that maintain their marginalization. Bayard Rustin was a black gay man who was a civil rights and gay activist. He served as a close advisor to Martin Luther King Jr. At times, he was forced to distance himself from the civil rights movement because of his sexuality. I find him inspiring because, despite the alienation he experienced for being gay, he played a significant role in the fight for equality. He is noted as being instrumental in the organization of the 1963 March on Washington.

What's one thing everyone should know about you? I love to cook! I find cooking relaxing and love the way food brings people together. I enjoy hosting brunches, and in particular making buttermilk pancakes from scratch. I've been obsessed with pancakes since childhood!

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