Alumnae: Alumnae Profiles

Alumnae Profiles: Ursula L. Wright, C'95

America needs multiple approaches to improving “a very dated model” to stay competitive, says Ursula L. Wright. While admitting that her professional journey is not what most would consider linear, she values he rewards of her diverse choices. “When you have strong generalist skill sets and you’re open to opportunities, unexpected doors will open for you,” she says. “My path has been nontraditional in many respects because I have intentionally focused on developing multiple competencies.”

The Spelman factor was key. “You got to see images of yourself in many women on campus, and those who came to lecture who were doing great things. That became a positive projection. There was no need to put false limitations in your own mind, because you saw other women of color able to do and achieve very significant things.”

Leadership today requires new flexibility and awareness, she says. “As our society becomes more networked and multidimensional, it’s important to understand the value of distributed leadership and servant leadership. It’s important to have leaders who are willing to take risks, to share their lessons learned and to be much more intentional about sharing their missteps as well as their successes with those coming up behind them, and to be intentionally working to groom the next cadre of leaders who will help service society in different ways.”

Career Highlights: MBA, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management; National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (senior advisor, COO, interim CEO, CFO); various leadership positions in publicly traded and private companies.

                   *This article can be found in the Spring 2014 edition of the Spelman Messenger*