Dr. David Thomas, President, Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia
David A. Thomas, Ph.D., is the 12th president of Morehouse College. Since his installment in January 2018, he has led dynamic, purpose-driven advancement in Morehouse’s strategic and operational effectiveness, programmatic reach, and pedagogical innovation. Among other transformational successes, Dr. Thomas has overseen a fundraising acceleration which has generated more than $200 million since his arrival—a giving total during his tenure that is higher than during any other presidential tenure in the history of the college and has accelerated through a $500 million comprehensive capital campaign. Under his leadership, Morehouse has extended its reach by launching its first online degree programs and has amplified its positioning as a center of intellectual discourse and social engagement in areas such as global leadership, professional equity, social justice, and innovation.
Dr. Thomas is internationally recognized for his expertise in organizational management and higher education leadership. Before becoming president of Morehouse, he served as the H. Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, as dean and William R. Berkley Chair at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, and as an assistant professor at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. While at McDonough, Dr. Thomas led a successful $130 million capital campaign, a redesign of the MBA curriculum, and the launch of the school’s first online degree program. He has consulted on issues relating to organizational change, diversity, and inclusion for 100 of the Fortune 500 companies.
An award-winning author and contemporary thought leader in organizational management and executive development, Thomas co-wrote three books: Race, Work, and Leadership: New Perspectives on the Black Experience; Breaking Through: The Making of Minority Executives in Corporate America; and Leading for Equity: The Pursuit of Excellence in Montgomery County. He has written or co-written almost eighty book chapters, cases, and teaching notes, along with more than two dozen scholarly articles, including Getting Serious About Diversity: Enough Already with the Business Case, which won the 2020 HBR McKinsey Award as the best Harvard Business Review article of the year.
In 2022, Georgia Trend named him one of the “100 Most Influential Georgians.” Savoy Magazine named him one of the “Most Influential Black Corporate Directors” and Atlanta Magazine named him one of “Atlanta’s 500 Most Powerful Leaders.” He is the recipient of Washington Business Journal’s “Minority Business Leader of the Year” award and the National Executive Forum’s 2020 Beacon Award, among other honors. He serves on the boards of DTE Energy, Commonfund, Vanguard, and Yale Corporation, where he is the alumni fellow. He is also a senior advisor for Grain Management.
Dr. Thomas earned a Ph.D. in organizational behavior studies and a Master of Philosophy in organizational behavior, both from Yale University. He also earned a Master of Organizational Psychology from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Administrative Sciences from Yale College.
Rita Hubbard-Robinson, CEO, NeuWater & Associates, Buffalo, New York
Rita Hubbard-Robinson, the CEO of NeuWater & Associates, LLC, has been committed to the improvement of health and social determinants of health for over 30 years. As a lead member of the African American Health Equity Taskforce, Rita is building infrastructure of the newly formed community-based Buffalo Center for Health Equity. She is also, one of four Associate Directors of the recently launched UB Community Health Equity Research Institute. She is a pioneer in efforts to bring health equity strategies to the City of Buffalo through several important partnerships and collaborations with healthcare, national and local foundations, and government. She is a leader in reimagined food systems: senior planner of the Healthy Community Store Initiative, Northland Avenue Food Oasis Initiative and visionary/developer of Project Rainfall, a food system social enterprise.
To her credit, Rita Hubbard-Robinson consulted with Erie County Medical Center’s (ECMC) Millennium Collaborative Care to direct a patient activation and navigation system called PAM®. She has served in the position of Director of Institutional Advancement at the ECMC Lifeline Foundation. She was the organizer of the Farmer’s Market at Grider, a community outreach
initiative focused on making fresh produce available to the community. She served as the first Great Lakes Health System of Western New York’s community outreach team member from ECMC, which included, co-hosting the Great Lakes Health Radio Show. Highlights of Ms. Hubbard-Robinson work at ECMC also include: The coordination and development of Buffalo’s first Mobile Mammography Coach, the establishment of the Erie County Medical Center’s summer youth internship program – teaching Western New York high school youth the fundamentals of being successful in a healthcare workplace.
She is the former Executive Director to the Commission on Citizens’ Rights and Community Relations, charged with improving civil rights and community relations in the City of Buffalo through projects, taking complaints of discrimination and police misconduct, as well as, overseeing police training for the improvement of police/community relations. The successful organizer of five annual citywide Race and Reconciliation Conferences, Rita has worked with local and federal law enforcement, block clubs, community centers, schools, area colleges and the university. With her many years of experience in administration, Ms. Hubbard-Robinson has worked to develop various partnerships and programs that have enhanced community services in the Buffalo area.
Committed to community health and development, Rita Hubbard-Robinson has been the co-chair of the “Let’s Get Moving” Health Symposium, charged with educating the community about health, nutrition and fitness. Developer of a healthy food initiative on the Ferry Street Corridor in the City of Buffalo, Rita has coordinated urban gardens, upgraded food ministries associated with several churches and currently coordinates a healthy pantry to over 100 families. She is chairperson of the Hamlin Park Community and Taxpayers’ Association’s marketing committee, focused on community development and homeowner advocacy.
As a consultant for non-profit groups and as a diversity trainer, Ms. Hubbard-Robinson has facilitated workshops for organizations in transition and for those developing a healthy work environment. She has presented keynote addresses for various collegiate and community groups. She is the former Executive Director of Preventionfocus, the largest county substance abuse prevention agency; former Project Director of UB School, College University Partnership; former Project Director of UB Liberty Partnership program; former Director Urban Revitalization Task Force – NYS Assembly; Board Member and former Technical Consultant, Fruit Belt Task Force.
Ms. Hubbard-Robinson has received various awards that include the 2020 Leadership Buffalo Virtual Values Inclusion Award, the 29 the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Community Service, New Hope Baptist Church – 2019, 2018 Spotlight on Population Health (SoPHi) Awards, “Community Achievement Award”, 2018 HOPE Buffalo, “Legacy Award”, 2016 “Difference Maker” Award – 9th Annual Black Tie for Black History month event, 2014 Eva Doyle Woman’s History Month 5th Annual Roses Award for Outstanding Women, the 2014
African American History Month Community Award – Love Alive Fellowship, the 2013 Zonta Club of Buffalo Outstanding Achievement Honor, 2012 City of Buffalo Black History Month Certificate of Achievement in Healthcare, 2011 Coalition of Black Trade Unionists Buffalo Chapter – Community Service Award, 2010 Unlimited Possibilities Overcoming Poverty Ministry, Inc. – Women’s History Award, 2009 Buffalo Niagara Human Resources Association – Community Volunteer Award, 2009 Black Achievers in Industry Award, the Minority Bar Association of WNY, Inc. 2008 Community Service Award for innovative ECMC Summer Youth Program, the 2008 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Social Justice Award, the Professional Award in June 2004 from the Buffalo Chapter of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs; and the 2000 Executive of the Year Award from the YWCA of Western New York.
Rita Hubbard-Robinson is an alum of Leadership Buffalo Class of 2009.
An advocate for both communities and youth, Rita Hubbard-Robinson of NeuWater & Associates, LLC earned her juris doctor from UB School of Law and Jurisprudence and attended the University at Binghamton as an undergraduate. She is also the wife of 30+ years to Mark E. Robinson and the mother of two, and grandmother of two.