Collaboration created to build pipeline of Black executives

Harvard Business School.

Rose Linclon/Harvard Staff Photographer

3 min read

Harvard Business School (HBS) and the Executive Leadership Council (ELC) announced they have entered into a collaboration to provide enhanced programming opportunities for ELC scholarship recipients (ELC Scholars) and executive education opportunities for the most senior Black executives in corporate America. The ELC’s mission, to open channels of opportunity for Black executives to positively impact business and communities, aligns well with the goals of the recently announced HBS Action Plan for Racial Equity, a plan to advance racial equity both within and beyond the School.

“HBS must do more to create opportunities for Black talent to succeed and take up leadership roles,” said HBS Dean Nitin Nohria. “The Executive Leadership Council has demonstrated the ability to create these opportunities and harness the power of Black talent. Together, we can create a tremendous and unique opportunity for ELC scholarship recipients, ELC members, and the HBS community.”

“The ELC looks forward to launching this unique collaboration with HBS. It is an advantage to be able to provide another development opportunity for our ELC Scholars,” said Crystal E. Ashby, ELC Interim President and CEO. “Adding this component will enrich their overall experience, providing financial support, networking and education as benefits for the Scholars. We are energized to offer executive education opportunities for our members, and to do so with one of the most highly-regarded academic institutions around the world.”

The collaboration will focus on three main areas: support for ELC Scholars, Executive Education, and MBA programming and case development.

Building the pipeline of Black business leaders for the future

The mission of The ELC’s Scholars program is to build a pipeline of Black corporate talent by supporting the academic achievement and development of Black undergraduate and graduate students. HBS will provide financial support to the student scholarship program and assist in identifying potential internship opportunities for ELC Scholars at HBS, partner companies, and alumni-led organizations.

Cultivating high-potential executive leaders

Leveraging the School’s existing Executive Education platform, the two organizations will work together to create a course customized for ELC members, while also providing them with access to existing HBS Executive Education courses and programs, which offer fully immersive and transformational living-learning experiences, networking opportunities with executives from around the world, and the opportunity to engage in programs led by HBS faculty.

Infusing diversity into the MBA curriculum

A key component of the HBS Racial Equity plan is the development of additional cases featuring Black protagonists. HBS and ELC will work together to identify potential topics and individuals to feature in cases from the more than 800 current and former Black CEOs, senior executives and board directors at Fortune 1000 and Global 500 companies, and entrepreneurs at top-tier firms comprising ELC’s membership.