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Meet Our 2019 Cohort of Fellows: Ronnie Wimberley

Harvard Business School

I am an MBA candidate at Harvard Business School. I was born in Detroit, MI, and grew up in Texas, Kentucky, and Georgia as a child in a military family. I then attended Duke University as a first-generation college student, where I majored in Economics, minored in Arabic Literature, and received an Ethics Certificate. I started my professional career as a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group in Dallas, TX. It was an incredible opportunity to develop and strengthen practical problem solving skills while providing strategic guidance to both global corporations and nonprofits. After two years, I transitioned to the Bridgespan Group where I have advised nonprofits, foundations, and impact investing funds. I am passionate about supporting institutions to be more inclusive to marginalized communities. I serve on Bridgespan's Racial Equity Leadership Team, our Inclusive Culture Advisory Committee, and help coordinate for our LGBTQ+ network, BGLAD. In the future, I hope to continue exploring the role of influential institutions in supporting an inclusive society.

What made you consider business school?

I applied to business school to better understand the organizational and leadership fundamentals that drive global institutions. While I have started to develop this understanding while advising businesses and nonprofits over the past four years, attending business school will increase my exposure to different kinds of businesses and leaders, and build on what I have already learned in a more structured way. I am also looking forward to becoming a more effective leader, and learning as much as I can from peers, professors, and mentors.

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

I am most excited to learn from and with a community of global leaders. As a first-generation college graduate, I know the step-change impact that can come from being embedded in a community of people from across backgrounds, professions, and walks of life. I am also looking forward to the ways it will help strengthen and influence my own unique approach to leadership.

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

I continue to be inspired by the legacy of James Baldwin. As an author, an advocate, a creative mind, and a political figure, James Baldwin has had a profound impact on our society and the US political and social consciousness. His writings also helped me find my own voice as an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, and helped me come to better understand myself as a queer person of color. Additionally, Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, is an incredible inspiration and role model. He is able to work across sectors in society while leading one of the largest foundations in the country and centering a commitment to global and domestic social impact.

What's one thing everyone should know about you?

My family is my primary influence in life, and they deeply shape how I think about the life I want to lead and the impact I want to have in the world.