Meet Deloitte’s champions of health equity, Kwasi Mitchell and Kulleni Gebreyes
Advancing health equity is critical to ensuring that all people have the fair and just opportunity to achieve their full potential in every aspect of their health and well-being. For two Deloitte* leaders—who also happen to be close friends—the commitment to making an impact is part of their shared purpose and something they strive to achieve daily. Meet Kwasi Mitchell and Kulleni Gebreyes. Together, they’re paving the way toward a healthier, more equitable and purpose-driven future for the benefit of all.
Kwasi is the chief purpose and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) officer at Deloitte. Growing up in Kalamazoo, Michigan during the late 80’s and early 90’s, he witnessed his community struggling through a drug epidemic and the subsequent mass incarceration of racially and ethnically diverse people. This inspired Kwasi’s passion to drive systemic change. Now, he’s responsible for leading the organization-wide strategy that powers Deloitte’s commitment to purpose and DEI, creating broader impact for clients, people, and the communities in which the organization operates. As a member of the Deloitte US Executive Leadership Team—a position that was recently elevated by newly appointed US CEO, Jason Girzadas—Kwasi oversees the organization’s first dedicated Purpose and DEI office.
Kulleni is a US life sciences and health care industry leader and US chief health equity officer at Deloitte Consulting LLP. At the age of 13, her family immigrated from Ethiopia to the United States amid a backdrop of famine and civil unrest. Her upbringing and experiences with the social constructs of race in America influenced a passion for health care. This led her to spearhead purpose-driven work addressing the root causes of health inequities and connecting, amplifying, and investing in efforts to advance health equity across geographies. Kulleni is a Harvard-educated and Johns Hopkins–trained emergency medicine physician. In her roles, she’s committed to aligning purpose and profit, not only for the Life Sciences and Health Care practice, but to clients across all industries.
As evidenced, Kwasi and Kulleni make quite the corporate dream team. They’ve been instrumental in defining Deloitte’s Purpose: to make an impact that matters by creating trust and confidence in a more equitable society. “We have the responsibility to use our voice and pave the way for what a purpose-driven organization can accomplish,” says Kwasi. Kulleni continues, “Yes, a responsibility to advance health equity is a major priority for us and our clients.”
Going beyond rhetoric, Deloitte has announced a transformative investment of $1.5 billion over the next decade to increase social and economic mobility, particularly for those facing significant barriers. Education and workforce development, financial inclusion, and health equity are the three pillars guiding Deloitte’s social impact investment. By strategically investing in effective projects and collaborating with organizations in the broader ecosystem, Deloitte aims to create scalable solutions that benefit underserved communities.
To address the pressing issue of health equity, Kwasi, Kulleni, and other Deloitte leaders helped establish the Deloitte Health Equity Institute (DHEI) in 2021. The DHEI is a data-driven social innovation and impact organization that fosters cross-sector collaborations and develops tools to tackle the crisis of health inequities and disparities. Its mission is grounded in the idea that leaders can activate health equity through four primary domains of action: organization, offerings, community, and ecosystem. Recognizing that every organization has a role to play in advancing health equity, the DHEI engages public, private, and community leaders to help break down siloes and catalyze systemic change.
Deloitte’s commitment to collaboration is evident in its role as a convener in the purpose and health equity space. The DHEI collaborates with other organizations and thought leaders to collectively help address the inherent biases in the health system. One notable collaborator is the Black Directors Health Equity Agenda (BDHEA), who worked with the DHEI to develop a playbook to aid Board Directors in their efforts to bring a health equity lens into their governance roles. The co-branded, public-facing playbook was made available to all 300+ BDHEA members. Through such collaborations, Deloitte aims to leverage its expertise and thought leadership to reshape the future of health equity and the way organizations approach societal challenges.
If you’re interested in learning more about Kwasi, Kulleni, or the work they’re doing to help advance health equity and purpose, explore the Deloitte Health Equity Institute. Its collaborations, dashboards, insights, and playbooks aim to help your organization infuse purpose into its business strategy and move the needle towards a more equitable world.
*Please see http://www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of our legal structure.