Todd Corley
Category: Fall 2022, Georgetown Magazine

Title:Alumnus joins Biden administration’s agriculture equity commission

Author: Camille Scarborough
Date Published: September 27, 2022

Earlier this year, Todd Corley (MBA’97) was appointed to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s 15-member Equity Commission. An expert in organizational development, design thinking, and change management, he will collaborate with leaders in public policy, economic development, civil rights, and other areas to “provide the Secretary of Agriculture with recommendations that create an infrastructure and ecosystem supporting equitable practices throughout and on behalf of the USDA,” says Corley.

The commission was developed as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s focus on advancing equity for those who have been historically discriminated against and underserved across the agricultural ecosystem. Its membership is composed of rural and urban farmers, environmentalists, climate experts, scientists, and historians, including Mireya Loza, an associate professor in Georgetown’s Department of History and the American Studies program.

“I did not know Dr. Loza prior to joining the Equity Commission, however, I was immediately impressed by her command on historical influences, such as the role of immigration patterns on the food economy which has kept our agriculture thriving, vibrant, and sustainable,” adds Corley.

As one of only seven Black male students in the MBA program it was important to be my authentic self, surrounded by other Black men, and imagine my endless possibilities.”

Corley is the senior vice president of inclusion, sustainability, and community at Carhartt, a global premium workwear brand. In that role, he is responsible for creating initiatives that strengthen the company’s commitment to environmental and social issues.

A recipient of the Nobel World Betterment Award, Corley has deep experience leading transformational change focused on promoting equity and belonging. He is credited with mitigating the reputational and financial losses following a landmark $50M EEOC discrimination case (Abercrombie v. Gonzalez). That experience is now the subject of the Netflix documentary White Hot: The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch.

While earning his MBA at Georgetown, he was influenced by the Jesuit principle of cura personalis, or care of the whole person. In particular, he recalls a conversation with one professor, Dr. Jose Guerrero-Cusumano, related to the Million Man March being held in D.C. when he was a Georgetown student. “He encouraged me to attend and lean into the experience, because as one of only seven Black male students in the MBA program it was important to be my authentic self, surrounded by other Black men, and imagine my endless possibilities.”

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