Community Profile: Fatima Alleyne, Ph.D. (May 2022)

Fatima Alleyne, Ph.D. (she/her), Director of Community Engagement & Inclusive Practices, Inclusive Excellence Unit, College of EngineeringHeadshot of a smiling person with short salt-and-pepper hair, dangly earrings, and a bright yellow blazer layered over a black collared shirt.

What does your program, unit, or division do on campus?

The Inclusive Excellence Unit in the College of Engineering is charged with cultivating a more inclusive culture that values and leverages diversity to fully unlock our individual and collective potential.

Describe your job in five words:

Collaborative, Inclusive, Data-driven, Purposeful, Outcomes-oriented

Why Berkeley?

As a former graduate student at Berkeley, I wanted to return to my alma mater to create more positive experiences for students, staff, and faculty who have historically been underserved in higher education. It was my desire to leverage my technical and non-technical skills acquired during my doctoral program at Berkeley to be a part of the solution.

Over your career, what are some of the things that have helped you move to the next level and to new opportunities?

  • Centering my focus on being of service to others
  • Approaching my work with integrity, purpose, and intent
  • Cultivating relationships with people who share my values

What is the best advice a mentor has given you in work, life, or beyond?

Only move in spaces that support you in acclimating and do not demand assimilating; as a Black female professional know your worth and demand it.

What motivates you to do your best work?

My grandfather’s words of wisdom motivate me: They can take anything away from you but they could never take away your education. These words motivate me to create educational opportunities for those who have been marginalized, disenfranchised, underserved, and under-resourced, and therefore, underrepresented, despite navigating experiences that systemically keep them and us from such opportunities.

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

I worked as a customer representative at Coach for one holiday season. One of my jobs was to wrap presents, and needless to say, I did not last past that season. I honestly do not remember how I even got the job as I never applied.

What is an interesting or little-known fact about you?

I am both a former gang member (1990s) and the first African American to serve as board president of the Contra Costa County Board of Education.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

I am looking forward to spending more time with my family, my youngest son starting high school, expanding my clientele for my consulting business, and empowering and coaching other women to know their worth.