2011 Gala Co-Chairs - Straight For Equality

straight for equality

2011 Gala Co-Chairs



Dr. Rohini Anand is Senior Vice President and Global Chief Diversity Officer for Sodexo, a leading provider of comprehensive service solutions with $20 billion or 13.4 billion euro in annual revenue and nearly 370,000 employees in 82 countries. In her current role, Dr. Anand is responsible for the strategic direction, implementation, and alignment of Sodexo’s integrated global diversity and inclusion initiatives, including sustainable development and corporate citizenship strategies, with Sodexo’s business growth startegy.

Previously, Dr. Anand served as Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for Sodexo USA, where she led the organization’s overall diversity and inclusion strategy. Dr. Anand was responsible for designing and developing the organization’s sustained culture change initiatives including community engagement, executive engagement, grass roots involvement and measurement and accountability.

Widely considered a leading expert on organizational change and diversity and inclusion, Dr. Anand has authored several manuals and has been published in numerous trade journals. Her works include texts on cultural competency and diversity training such as a chapter in The SAGE Handbook of Intercultural Competence (2009), Customizing Diversity Training Using Case Vignettes (2001), Multicultural Case Studies: Tools for Training (1999), Teaching Skills and Cultural Competence: A Guide for Trainers (1997) and Cultural Competency in Health Care: A Guide for Trainers (1997).

Under Dr. Anand’s leadership, Sodexo was ranked #1 on the 2010 DiversityInc business index of Top Companies for Diversity and Inclusion in 2010. In addition, the National Restaurant Association has awarded Sodexo its prestigious Faces of Diversity in Inspiration award and Working Mother Media has named Sodexo a 2010 Best Company for Hourly Workers. Today the Sodexo brand is synonymous with diversity leadership.

Dr. Anand has also been the recipient of many prestigious awards and honors including the 2009 Women’s Foodservice Forum Trailblazer Award, the Maryland International Business Leadership Award, the American Institute for Managing Diversity’s Individual Leader Award, Webster University’s 2008 Women of Influence Award, Diversity Best Practices Diversity Officer Leadership Award, and Diversity Edge Magazine’s Top 20 Diversity Champions.

Dr. Anand received her PhD from the University of Michigan and has served on the boards of several organizations including, the Women’s Foodservice Forum, the MultiCultural Foodservice and Hospitality Alliance, the National MultiCultural Institute, the Johnetta B. Cole Global Diversity and Inclusion Institute, ORC’s Global Diversity Advisory Board, ACTSO Board of the NAACP, the Corporate and Philanthropic Council of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund.

Michelle Gadsden-Williams is the Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Credit Suisse, AG in Zurich, Switzerland. 

In this role, she provides strategic direction, leadership and champions the development of an inclusive environment by integrating diversity into all aspects of the business on a global scale. An exemplary role model, Michelle works tirelessly at refining processes, policies and programs that support an inclusive work environment. 

Michelle has had an impressive career in the diversity arena. Examples of her notable accomplishments include leading Novartis’ external Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council (DIAC), the formation and re-vitalization of Global Diversity Councils, the development of a comprehensive Diversity Training Curriculum and her role in the start-up of several active employee resource groups around the world.

Michelle has acquired a number of community service awards and accolades for her work. She has been profiled in Black Enterprise Magazine in 2002, 2006 and 2007, DiversityInc, Ebony, Essence, Fortune, Jet, New Vision, Science Magazine, Sister to Sister and Target Market News to name a few. She was also one of 75 women honored for her accomplishments at the 2005 Tribute to Women in Industry (TWIN) Gala, the recipient of the Dr Maya Angelou “Maya Way” Diversity Leadership Award, Harvard University’s 2007 BMF Businesswoman of the Year, the Rainbow Push Coalition’s Bridge Builder Award presented by the honorable Reverend Jesse L. Jackson and received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Kean University for her outstanding personal and professional accomplishment in the field of diversity and inclusion.

In addition to her impressive career as a diversity executive, her community service speaks volumes about her dedication and interest in equality and social justice. She currently serves as an Executive Committee Member of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Women’s Leadership Board. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the SLE Lupus Foundation of New York City which advocates for research, patient awareness and education of system lupus erythematosus (lupus). In addition, she serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Jackie Robinson Foundation of New York City where she actively raises scholarships for academically gifted minority college students in the US. Michelle is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated.

Michelle has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Kean College (Summa Cum Laude). She also has a Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania (with honors). Her permanent residence is in New Jersey with her husband David J. Williams. 

  • view.image?id=2891
'; $('body').append(addthisdiv); addthis.toolbox(); } catch(e) {} }