Current CEO of S.F. Conservation Corps Will Be Organization’s First Woman of Color President
The Greenlining Institute has chosen Debra Gore-Mann to be the racial equity organization’s new president – the third leader in Greenlining’s 26-year history and the first woman to lead the organization.
Gore-Mann has led the San Francisco Conservation Corps, America’s first urban municipal youth corps, for the past four years. Chosen from a large field of outstanding candidates considered over the course of the search, she brings a wealth of nonprofit and business experience to her new position at Greenlining, with a resume that includes experience in investment banking, an engineering degree and an M.B.A. from Stanford. She will assume the post Oct. 1.
Gore-Mann brings a multi-dimensional perspective to the role, having been raised in a low-income, biracial family (African American and Japanese), being the first generation in her family to go to college and part of the first generation to receive a basketball scholarship for women student athletes at Stanford University under Title IX, the federal law requiring gender equity in federally funded college sports.
She studied engineering and then joined the Graduate School of Business at Stanford to earn her M.B.A., where she was the only African American woman in a class of 400 graduate students. Her experiences give her a depth of understanding of what it takes to serve historically underserved and underrepresented people.
“We were impressed by Debra’s vision and dynamism,” said Greenlining Board Co-chair Ortensia Lopez. “She is intimately familiar with seeing change, being change and building community. Greenlining has grown remarkably over the last decade, and the challenges our nation faces are complex. With her wide variety of experience, we believe Debra is the right person to take us to the next level and to bring new energy and excitement to the fight for racial equity in these challenging times.”
“Debra is the right person with the right experience at an important time in the life of our organization,” said Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, Transition Committee co-chair. “She brings an important intersectional perspective and experience working with the very communities we serve.”
“I think I speak for everyone at The Greenlining Institute in thanking (outgoing president) Orson Aguilar for his leadership and tireless dedication to the organization,” Gore-Mann said. “I am humbled to be able to follow such a legacy leader who worked for over 20 years to help build Greenlining into the strong and vibrant organization it is. I am incredibly excited to assume this role, and know that if we stand together, learn together, and educate each other, we will prosper together.”
Begun as an informal, multiethnic coalition of civil rights groups in the 1980s and formally incorporated as an organization in 1993, Greenlining has emerged as a leading advocate for racial equity in a variety of fields, from banking to tech and the fight against climate change.
Its Leadership Academy has trained more than 1,000 young leaders, and its graduates have taken on leadership positions as elected officials, heads of nonprofit organizations, a sitting California Supreme Court Justice and other influential roles.
The Greenlining 360 Center in downtown Oakland has become a hub for grassroots community organizing, regularly hosting a variety of community meetings and events.