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Monica R. Sylvain, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Monica is a former c-suite executive and the Founder & CEO of Monica Sylvain Consulting LLC. She has nearly 30 years of proven experience leading in financial services, commodity chemicals, higher education, and the not-for-profit sector. In her role as inaugural Chief Diversity Officer at IBERIABANK, Monica was the strategic thought leader for the enterprise-wide diversity, equity and inclusion vision. Over the course of her career, she has honed expertise in corporate social responsibility, ESG, board diversification, inclusive culture transformation and identification & retention of top diverse talent.
Prior to joining IBERIABANK, Dr. Sylvain was the founding Director of The Posse Foundation, New Orleans, a premier college success, leadership cultivation and workforce diversification program. During her tenure at Posse, Sylvain built a reputation for growing a successful start-up nonprofit, championing equity & diversity in corporations and higher education, building a strong advisory board, and stewarding broad-base stakeholder relationships to ensure long-term sustainability.
Dr. Sylvain earned her Analytical Chemistry Ph.D. with honors from Louisiana State University, where she wrote a two-part dissertation, the first in the history of the Chemistry department. While pursuing her PhD at LSU, Sylvain was the founding Director of the LA-STEM Research Scholars Program, which gained traction as a national model for diversifying and transforming STEM undergraduate education. Sylvain graduated at the top of her class receiving her B.S. in Chemical Engineering magna cum laude from Howard University.
Rico is an experienced executive leader, facilitator, and creative strategist. Before his current role, he was the Vice President for Policy & Collaboration at Philanthropy New York (PNY) where he worked with national and New York based grant making institutions to develop events for foundation staff members. Prior to his time at PNY, Rico was the Vice President of Strategic Projects and member of the executive team responsible for the expansion, evolution and management of The Posse Foundation.
Over 20 years at Posse, he served in multiple roles that supported rapid growth, notably as the national director of training and site development, which helped replicate the Posse program during the early stages of the organization’s growth. Rico codified and developed Posse’s comprehensive curriculum and processes, led multiple staff trainings and helped develop Posse’s unique brand. He led a series of critical organization-wide initiatives, which included the cultivation of a new consulting arm, whose aim was to leverage Posse’s expertise and work with institutions, organizations and companies to build more inclusive cultures and design youth leadership and resilience programs for diverse populations.
In 2008, Posse honored Rico alongside Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs; Deval & Diane Patrick, Former Governor and First Lady of Massachusetts and Nancy Vickers, President Emerita, Bryn Mawr College. He graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University with a degree in Human and Organizational Development and English Creative writing.
Dax-Devlon has led a career as a non-profit executive, equity consultant, educator and journalist with a focus on social justice. For over a decade, Dax’s social justice consulting practice focused on developing disruptive strategies to generate equity in workplaces and education spaces alike. His clients have included: The Anti-Defamation League, The New World Foundation, The Posse Foundation, Fund II Foundation, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, and more.
As the founding Executive Director of After-School All-Stars New York and New Jersey, Dax built, from scratch, a team of 60 full and part-time program, development and operations staff serving more than 1,500 students across two states. Thereafter he served the organization as its inaugural northeast regional executive director, managing five chapter executive directors, while overseeing regional growth strategy, partnership development and management, donor stewardship, board governance and chapter operations.
Dax is the author of five books and his journalism has been featured in Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post Magazine, Huffington Post and other national publications. He was the winner of the National Association of Black Journalists’ Investigative Reporting Award for his coverage of jury exclusion in North Carolina courts. He is a fellow at Type Media Center, and an alumnus of Coro Leadership New York. Dax received his Juris Doctorate from George Washington University.
Chirag is a master facilitator, recording/performing artist, writer, and educator. He has facilitated over 60 retreats at universities and colleges around socio-political issues and has consulted for numerous organizations and colleges such as ESPN, Development Without Limits, Rutgers University, Arts for Incarcerated Youth, Young Adult Library Services Association, Street Poets Inc., and The Posse Foundation.
He has recorded and released eight albums under Chee Malabar and hip-hop groups Himalayan Project and Oblique Brown. He speaks at universities and colleges around issues of American identity and race. He was featured in the landmark South Asian-American documentary ‘Brown Like Dat’, and his lyrics and work are the subject of the book Hip Hop Desi’s and a Global Race Consciousness by Northwestern University professor Nitasha Sharma.
Prior to moving back to New York City, he served as a Program Director and Teaching Artist with Street Poets Inc., a non-profit poetry-based peacemaking organization dedicated to the creative process as a force for individual and community transformation.
Chirag is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University (B.A. Political Science) and holds an M.F.A. in Fiction from Brooklyn College.