“My hope emerges from those places of struggle where I witness individuals positively transforming their lives and the world around them. Educating is a vocation rooted in hopefulness. As teachers, we believe that learning is possible, that nothing can keep an open mind from seeking after knowledge and finding a way to know.”
—Bell Hooks, American author, feminist, and social activist
We are a leadership team committed to crafting a bold new future and have reimagined what it means to lead at Georgia Tech.
Pearl Alexander, JD, PCC, ACC, serves as executive director of diversity, inclusion, and engagement at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is a visionary leader who has navigated a progressive 29-year career catalyzing transformations in culture and organizational leadership practices. Currently, Pearl leads learning curricular innovations, professional development, and engagement experiences designed to build and nurture global leadership capacity and model inclusive excellence. She is a certified professional coach and facilitator integrating her expertise in diversity and inclusion principles within her coaching, practices, and coaching consultancy services.
Pearl’s career assignments have spanned from peace builder to strategist and spokesperson. Her presence, influence, and leadership have contributed to Georgia Tech‘s recognition as a thought leader for implementing award-winning practices of diversity and inclusion guided strategic initiatives in higher education. As an executive coach with expertise in reflective and transformative methods, Pearl has coached leaders through personal discovery, self-mastery, uncovering talent, and shifting mindsets during times of change and transitions.
A featured and frequently sought speaker, moderator, and onsite coach at leadership institutes, retreats, and conferences, her audiences have spanned higher education, government, corporate, and international professionals. Pearl’s notable commentary has been shared in various media including The Wall Street Journal, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Profiles in Diversity Journal, Academic Leader, Womenetics, The Jabian Journal, Diversity Woman, and National Public Radio. Her speaking engagements include The Inaugural Institute for Federal Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion – Washington, D.C., local chapters of the International Coaches Federation and Association of Talent Development, and nationally for The College and University-HR Association, Linkage, and The Conference Board on topics related to Leadership and Organizational Development.
Pearl selectively participates in international and national think tanks on the future of work and leadership practices. She chairs and serves on professional development committees, designs and facilitates Executive Leadership and Life Coaching Intensives and Retreats® for organizations, leadership teams, groups and individuals. Her signature coaching topics include “Daring Acts: Creating A Culture of Enough™” (based on the research of Brené Brown) and “Noticing Self: Developing Emotional Intelligence Skills for Professionals and Leaders™.”
Pearl delights in excavating stories, curating and coaching transformative narratives, mentoring fellow introverted leaders of all ages, and practicing Improvisation. She shares her gifts to inspire others to access their personal power and step into “wholeness.”
Cheryl D. Cofield is the director of inclusion and engagement, chair of the Employee Resource Group Leadership Council, and curator of Transformative Narratives and Storytelling Integration at Georgia Tech. Prior to joining Tech, she managed employment compliance for Wal-Mart Store’s Global Home Office and Tyson Foods’ Corporate World Headquarters; served as employment counsel and director of equal opportunity for the Fulton County Government; and served as a civil rights attorney with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.
Cheryl is a professional storyteller and holds certifications as an executive and life coach, women’s efficacy coach, emotional intelligence coach, Fierce Conversations facilitator, Leadership at the Speed of Trust® facilitator, and National Coalition Building Institute® trainer/facilitator. She is currently matriculating through Brené Brown’s Daring Way certification as well as Narativ’s Storytelling and Listening certification.
Cheryl is a highly sought after national conference presenter, speaker, and moderator, as well as a graduate of The Conference Board’s Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Boot Camp, The American Institute for Managing Diversity’s Diversity Leadership Academy, Cook Ross’ Unconscious Bias Learning Lab, and Doug Stevenson International’s Storytelling Theatre Retreat program.
Cheryl has served on advisory boards for a variety of organizations including the American Institute for Managing Diversity, Linkage's Institute for Leading Diversity and Inclusion, College and University Professional Association, Atlanta Diversity Management Advocacy Group, YWCA Race Dialogue Program, and Atlanta Awesome Foundation. She has also facilitated community race dialogues; presented at Rites of Passage programs for 100 Black Men of America; and facilitated teen empowerment programs for Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature and composition from Ohio University and a doctorate of jurisprudence from the University of Cincinnati. She enjoys fencing, acting, emceeing, storytelling, art collecting, and performing magic.