The Drive for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Category: Grad News
Class Years: ,

This episode features a conversation with Lisa Benitez ’88, the Chief Diversity Officer at USMA, and Herman Bulls ’78, International Director and the founder of JLL’s Public Institutions Business Unit.

Herman also serves on several high-impact public, private and not-for-profit boards including USAA, The American Red Cross, The Military Bowl, Comfort Systems USA, American Campus Communities, and the West Point Association of Graduates. He is founder, President, and CEO of Bulls Advisory Group, a real estate and management advisory firm. Herman completed 12 years of active duty service with the United States Army, and retired as a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves in 2008. He is part of the West Point graduating class of 1978 and received a MBA from Harvard Business School.

In this episode, Herman talks about leading the initial charge for diversity, equity, and inclusion at West Point. As well, gives insight into how the school has continued to expand those efforts across the organization from the board, staff, and faculty to athletics, admissions, and alumni. He helped establish, and was the first chair, of the AOG board’s diversity committee, and continues to support West Point AOG to be the most connected and inclusive alumni group in the world.

Episode Timestamps

(00:40) Herman’s Involvement in Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
(03:55) How Diversity and Inclusion was initially received at West Point
(05:45) West Point Diversity Conference
(09:30) Diversity and Inclusion Representation among Staff and Faculty
(11:55) Establishment of Diversity and Inclusion Committee as Part of Board
(12:55) Herman’s Role as Chair of Diversity and Inclusion Board
(15:00) Diversity and Inclusion Representation for Athletes
(15:51) West Point Special Interest Groups
(16:50) Corporate Governance
(17:15) Diversity Makeup within Board and Advisory Committee
(20:44) Importance of Candid Conversations
(24:10) Minority Visitation Program and other Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
(28:00) Need for Resources
(28:45) Diversity and Inclusion Role in West Point Alumni Connectivity
(35:45) Herman’s West Point Experience vs. his Son’s
(40:25) Philanthropy and Margin of Excellence Program
(47:00) Post Graduate Scholarship Distribution and Awards for Minorities

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The WPAOG Podcast is a strategic initiative focused on tailored audible communications to further inform Graduates on current AOG projects, events, and USMA updates. This customized content is mainly for USMA Alumni and the West Point Community solely produced by the West Point Association of Graduates. The Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Audible, YouTube Music, and iHeartRadio.

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