The New Pittsburgh Courier has learned that Evan Frazier, founding director of The Advanced Leadership Initiative (TALI), is taking on a new role as president and CEO of The Advanced Leadership Institute, Inc., on March 8. Frazier will be leaving his current role as senior vice president of Community Affairs at Highmark Health in early March. This transition follows the receipt of a Richard King Mellon Foundation grant in December 2020 to support TALI’s expansion into an institute.
It was Frazier’s early vision as founding director, along with guidance from TALI’s Executive Committee that launched The Advanced Leadership Initiative in 2018. During that time, TALI partnered with Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business to develop its signature program, the Executive Leadership Academy. The Advanced Leadership Institute will continue the initial efforts of the initiative and plans to announce its expanded strategic direction this summer. Over the next few months, Frazier will be focused on building the TALI team, now that it is known as an “institute.” He will secure additional resources and develop a portfolio of opportunities to impact a larger pool of African American leaders.
“It has always been our plan to make TALI a self-sustaining institute. Now is the time to make that happen. I am excited about taking on this challenge, and I’m making a full commitment to doing what is needed to build the infrastructure to create more sustainable opportunities for existing and emerging African American leaders in Pittsburgh and beyond,” Frazier said in a statement provided to the Courier.
“Along with other founding member organizations, Highmark Health has supported Evan’s vision for TALI from the very beginning, and I see this as the next natural evolution of the initiative. Evan has experienced the executive ranks firsthand and is passionately committed to advancing diversity and inclusion at every leadership level,” said David Holmberg, president and CEO of Highmark Health, in a statement.
“The pace at which The Advanced Leadership Initiative has grown is a testament to Evan’s vision, drive, and ability to pull together community partners and business leaders to be engaged as advisory board members and mentors that brought added value to the Initiative. We are fortunate to have Evan at the helm of The Advanced Leadership Institute in providing strategic direction, building partnerships and initiating new programs. His guiding force in the early years of TALI has set the stage for continued success in paving the way for African American leaders,” said Greg Spencer, Founding Board Co-Chair of The Advanced Leadership Initiative and president and CEO of Randall Industries, in a statement.
“Given the focus that both Pittsburgh and the nation have on the identification and development of diverse executives for C-Suite positions, TALI is well positioned to support this increasingly important and strategic outcome. The announcement of Evan as President and CEO confirms a path for growth and an ability to create more significant impact based on best practices learned over the past three years,” said Marsha Jones, Advisory Board Co-Chair and Executive Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer at PNC, in a statement.
“I am honored to be a part of such an important and dynamic undertaking—the creation of The Advanced Leadership Institute. Evan’s appointment to this position, and his plans for growth, will support corporations, helping them succeed in their diversity and inclusion initiatives. TALI will become an even greater resource for the community. The future of TALI is in good hands, and we look forward to greater accomplishments under Evan’s capable leadership,” said Jerry MacCleary, Advisory Board Co-Chair and retired chairman, president and CEO of Covestro, in a statement.
Frazier has served as senior vice president of Community Affairs at Highmark Health since 2010. Prior to joining Highmark, Frazier served as president and CEO of the Hill House Association for six years and has held numerous professional roles over the years. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and a master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University’s H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management. In March 2017, he completed the Wharton Executive Development Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Over the years he also earned executive development certificates from Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management and the Program on Negotiations at Harvard Law School.
Frazier has been very active in the community, having served on more than 30 civic boards and commissions in his professional career. Frazier has received numerous national and local awards including being named a national “Luce Scholar,” which allowed him to live and work in Asia for a year. In 1989, Frazier co-founded the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH) and currently serves as chair of the NSMH Legacy Fund. He was also recognized by Savoy magazine as one of 2020’s Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America.
The purpose of The Advanced Leadership Initiative is to advance African American executive leaders in the Pittsburgh region. The mission of The Advanced Leadership Institute will be to cultivate African American executive leadership to strengthen companies, institutions, and communities across America. Its primary focus will be to educate, develop, connect, and position African American leaders for executive advancement. TALI’s Executive Leadership Academy, in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, will be strengthened and continue to serve as a signature program and demonstration model to drive change in the region.
The Advanced Leadership Initiative has received support from major corporations and foundations in the Pittsburgh region, including Lead Contributors: BNY Mellon Foundation of SWPA, The Heinz Endowments, Hillman Family Foundations, and The Richard King Mellon Foundation. Current Presenting Sponsors: Highmark Health, PNC, and UPMC. Contributors: Buhl Foundation and The Pittsburgh Foundation. Gold Sponsors: Bank of America, BNY Mellon, Covestro, Dollar Bank, FHL Bank Pittsburgh, Gateway Health, Giant Eagle, Giant Eagle Foundation, Koppers, and PPG. Silver Sponsors: Ernst & Young (EY) and Wabtec. POISE Foundation has served as fiscal sponsor for TALI since its inception.