Diversity Champion

Award-winning volunteer promotes inclusion at Haas

Monica Stevens, MBA 96
Monica Stevens, MBA 96

After Prop 209 banned affirmative action in California schools, Monica Stevens, MBA 96, felt like a drought had hit Berkeley Haas. “I was saddened that the best public business school in the world did not reflect the rich and diverse population of California,” says Stevens, who recruited Berkeley MBAs for Wells Fargo.

So she encouraged Dean Lyons to rejoin the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, which connects talented diversity leaders with top business schools. Haas rejoined in 2010 and has since enrolled more underrepresented minority students.

Stevens was inspired. She founded the Alumni Diversity Council in 2012 and, since that time, Haas has woven diversity and inclusion throughout its strategic business plan, hired a director of diversity initiatives, and added courses helping students manage diverse teams.

The Council, led by Stevens and vice chair Brett Conner, MBA 12, has grown to 20 alumni members across all academic programs. They discuss high-level initiatives and how to impact current students. Council members also engage with fellow alumni to increase participation and encourage networking with current students. Stevens, a senior VP for Wells Fargo Merchant Services, hosts an annual alumni reception as part of the MBA Diversity Symposium to connect with prospective students.

For her efforts enhancing diversity and inclusion at Berkeley Haas, Stevens is being lauded with the Raymond E. Miles Alumni Service Award, the school’s highest volunteer honor. She is the first African-American woman to receive it.