NGO Soul + Strategy

022. How to lead organizational change when you are the first person of color in top leadership: Dorothy Nyambi, CEO of MEDA

April 02, 2021 Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken Episode 22
NGO Soul + Strategy
022. How to lead organizational change when you are the first person of color in top leadership: Dorothy Nyambi, CEO of MEDA
Chapters
NGO Soul + Strategy
022. How to lead organizational change when you are the first person of color in top leadership: Dorothy Nyambi, CEO of MEDA
Apr 02, 2021 Episode 22
Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken

Summary

Dorothy Nyambi took on the top leadership role in MEDA two years ago as the only person of color in the senior leadership team. She since then has led change with that awareness in mind:

What do we mean by culture change, and how to see and operationalize it?

Politics and power within an organization, from a change leader’s perspective.

How to lead and manage organizational change? What frameworks, resources, or tools are most valuable? 

Inclusion and diversity -- or lack of diversity -- in leadership.


 Dorothy’s Bio

  •  Dorothy is President and Chief Executive of MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates), a Canadian headquartered international economic development organization that creates business solutions to poverty
  • Former Executive Vice President of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences 
  • Former Regional Director of the NGO Right to Play
  • Dorothy was trained as a medical doctor, then moved upstream from being a technical person into organizational management and leadership

 
Quotes

“I will be bringing myself into it as a black woman driving to bring change to a white organization in a sector where white saviorism and specifically white male dominance is predominant. That will be the lens that will drive my change journey, but a journey that I am proud of and which has lots of lessons for me”

“As a former medical professional, I feel like I am in the upstream medical sector in international development”


  We discussed: 

  • The role shift that MEDA is going through, from direct implementation to that of  convener, and what the implications are of that
  •  The “divided loyalties’ of staff in international development - and the power and accolades that come with that, as well as a fear for a loss of identity 
  •  How institutional donor practices reinforce white saviorism
  •  How one can assess the appetite for change as an incoming CEO in an organization new to you
  •  How diverse organizations need to honor the lived experience of staff

 

Resources

Website: https://www.meda.org/ 

Dorothy’s LinkedIn profile

Dorothy’s Twitter handle

Click here to subscribe to be alerted when new podcast episodes come out or when Tosca produces other thought leadership pieces.

Or email Tosca at [email protected] if you want to talk about your social sector organization’s needs, challenges, and opportunities.

You can find Tosca’s content by following her on her social media channels: 

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Show Notes

Summary

Dorothy Nyambi took on the top leadership role in MEDA two years ago as the only person of color in the senior leadership team. She since then has led change with that awareness in mind:

What do we mean by culture change, and how to see and operationalize it?

Politics and power within an organization, from a change leader’s perspective.

How to lead and manage organizational change? What frameworks, resources, or tools are most valuable? 

Inclusion and diversity -- or lack of diversity -- in leadership.


 Dorothy’s Bio

  •  Dorothy is President and Chief Executive of MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates), a Canadian headquartered international economic development organization that creates business solutions to poverty
  • Former Executive Vice President of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences 
  • Former Regional Director of the NGO Right to Play
  • Dorothy was trained as a medical doctor, then moved upstream from being a technical person into organizational management and leadership

 
Quotes

“I will be bringing myself into it as a black woman driving to bring change to a white organization in a sector where white saviorism and specifically white male dominance is predominant. That will be the lens that will drive my change journey, but a journey that I am proud of and which has lots of lessons for me”

“As a former medical professional, I feel like I am in the upstream medical sector in international development”


  We discussed: 

  • The role shift that MEDA is going through, from direct implementation to that of  convener, and what the implications are of that
  •  The “divided loyalties’ of staff in international development - and the power and accolades that come with that, as well as a fear for a loss of identity 
  •  How institutional donor practices reinforce white saviorism
  •  How one can assess the appetite for change as an incoming CEO in an organization new to you
  •  How diverse organizations need to honor the lived experience of staff

 

Resources

Website: https://www.meda.org/ 

Dorothy’s LinkedIn profile

Dorothy’s Twitter handle

Click here to subscribe to be alerted when new podcast episodes come out or when Tosca produces other thought leadership pieces.

Or email Tosca at [email protected] if you want to talk about your social sector organization’s needs, challenges, and opportunities.

You can find Tosca’s content by following her on her social media channels: 

Twitter LinkedIn Facebook Youtube