Volunteer Spotlight: Maureen Alphonse-Charles, F87, A23P
For Maureen Alphonse-Charles, F87, A23P, serving on the Board of Advisors for The Fletcher School reflects her gratitude for the education that inspired her pioneering work in diversity and inclusion. Senior vice president of talent, diversity, and inclusion at Boston-based Koya Leadership Partners/DSG, she brings more than 20 years of executive recruiting experience and a passion for the kind of deep change that will create a new generation of global leaders.
How did Fletcher influence your life?
Fletcher gave me the lens through which I look at the world with an open mind. It gave me the skills to finesse conflict management—how you move people and resources—among so many other skills I use every day. If I didn't have the foundation that Tufts provided, I wouldn't be able to think out of the box—to be creative and excited by change. Extraordinary people at Fletcher taught me to think critically, analytically—and the diversified composition of the student body made a difference. I was a minority student, in that I'm Jamaican and also Panamanian, so being able to connect with people from all over the world was a dream come true. That’s where the dance is. That’s where innovation actually takes place: at the intersections of conversations and thought processes.
You’ve said your tagline would be "One Goal: Inclusion.” How does that inform your volunteer work?
My journey has been one of creating access, opening doors, and making sure that we are being as inclusive as possible. As a board member, I am a voice for inclusive processes. We should always be thinking: Do we have constituents who come from every corner of the Earth here? How do we think broadly and intentionally to ensure nobody's being left behind? It all comes back to people having access and being able to find pathways to Tufts, so that we are attracting, and educating, the next wave of global leaders.
Why is this work so important?
There are so many ways to think about the world. You could be looking at it from the side of security issues, climate change, or immigration. But at their core, the thread that binds us, is that we all care about humanity. This is my truth: that if we truly care about humanity, then we should strategically channel the resources to bring different perspectives to the table. If you don't bring the best and brightest leaders together to have those conversations—and make sure that they're all different—you're not propelling the thought processes that will lead to new solutions.
In addition to the Fletcher Board of Advisors, you’re active on a number of other nonprofit boards. Is there a central theme that drives you?
I believe that as you give, so you receive. They are interrelated. It's about finding your core passion and then amplifying the possibilities—your time, talent, and treasure. When I first came to this country, I would never have thought that I would be “giving back.” I was just trying to find my pathway. I'm very honored that I was able to find it first at Boston University, and then at Tufts. For that reason, I stand ready to return the favor and serve as a voice for the voiceless.