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Graduation Speaker

Sulaiman W. Rahman to address Class of 2021

Sulaiman W. Rahman to address Class of 2021

Sulaiman W. Rahman, CEO of DiverseForce, has been selected to address the College of Liberal and Professional Studies Class of 2021 at the graduation celebration on Sunday, May 16.

Rahman founded DiverseForce, a strategic human capital solutions firm, to help organizations across all sectors recruit, retain, and develop diverse leadership pipelines. In 2017, DiverseForce partnered with the University of Pennsylvania’s ImpactEd to develop DiverseForce On Boards, an innovative leadership development program that trains mid-to-senior level professionals of color from the public and private sectors to serve more effectively on nonprofit boards in the region. Rahman has firsthand experience with the impact that diverse board leadership can have on the communities served by nonprofit organizations: he is currently Vice President of the board of directors for Community College of Philadelphia Foundation, board of trustee and executive committee member for Mastery Charter Schools, and board member and governance committee member for the Kimmel Center of Performing Arts among other appointments.

In 2007, Rahman founded Urban Philly Professional Network (UPPN), which has evolved into one of the area's largest and most respected professional networks. UPPN was named the Philadelphia Business Journal's #1 networking association in 2015, and currently operates as a DiverseForce talent community. For Rahman, the secret to networking success is authenticity: “I've learned over the years that it's not WHAT you know; it's not WHO you know; it's who knows YOU and what they KNOW about you that counts,” he says. “We should all strive to show up as the best versions of ourselves online and offline, to live our values, and to build our own personal brands. Otherwise, we risk being labeled.”

To the graduating class of 2021, he advises: “Celebrate this exciting milestone of graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, but remember that our learning journeys have no destination, they are a lifelong adventure.”