Head of DEIB
Zuckerman Mind Brain
Behavior Institute at
Vanessa is the inaugural Senior Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging at the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute at Columbia University. She serves as the Institute’s chief diversity officer, partners with the leadership team and strategizes across all stakeholder groups to create sustainable structures to advance Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging.
Prior to this role, Vanessa led the Inclusive Leadership Practice enterprise wide at Citi. In this unique role, Vanessa partnered with colleagues in Learning globally as well as in Global Talent and Diversity to assess development needs, curate and/or co-create solutions and interventions in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion, with the goal of developing inclusive leaders globally. She also led the firm’s flagship women development program for women directors globally. Vanessa offered advisory and mentorship across the organization and externally.
Vanessa also led Leadership Development and Diversity & Inclusion at Nestle Waters North America and in the industrial gas industry. She has 25 years of international cross-industry leadership experience in talent development, change management and organization development. She has led teams in North, South, Central America, Europe, Southeast Asia and North Africa.
Vanessa grew up in Haiti; she is fluent in French, Creole, English and Spanish. She holds a PhD ABD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, a MS in Organization Development from the University of San Francisco, a BS in Business Administration, with specializations in Industrial Management and Human Resources Management from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez.
She loves the arts and enjoys traveling. She lives with her family in Connecticut.