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Diversity Leadership: Dr. Rohini Anand, Sodexo

Rohini Anand, SodexoDr. Rohini Anand
Senior Vice President and
Global Chief Diversity Officer
Sodexo

Born and raised in Mumbai, India, Dr. Rohini Anand had never truly experienced diversity before she came to this country for graduate school. “The determining factor in my life was my move to the United States, when I was first perceived as a minority. A life-shaping experience, it led me to the work I do today,” she wrote in DiversityInc.

Anand is a legend in diversity-management circles for the accomplishments in her career at Sodexo and her strong relationship with her CEOs.

When Anand arrived in Michigan to begin a Ph.D. program, she assumed she would return to India after school for a traditional arranged marriage. Instead, she was struck by the social impact that race/ethnicity had on people’s lives and set out to find a career involving “sustained cultural change.”

Anand joined Sodexo in 2002—when the company was changing its corporate culture after a racial-discrimination lawsuit—and was soon named Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for North America. She has played a strong role in building the company’s diversity strategy, particularly in human resources, and in creating an effective diversity scorecard to measure the company’s progress.

Anand earned an undergraduate degree in history in India and a Ph.D. in Asian studies from the University of Michigan. Her writing has been published in numerous journals and books, including The SAGE Handbook of Intercultural Competence (2009). She serves on the board of directors of the International MultiCultural Institute. She and her husband have two adult daughters.