Linda Oubre


Linda Oubre was appointed Dean of the College of Business at San Francisco State University in July 2012. Oubre's goals for the College include expanding connections with the business community, attracting more students, and raising revenue. She was recently named one of the San Francisco Bay Area's "Most Influential Women in Business 2013" by the San Francisco Business Times.

Previously, Oubre served as executive director of Corporate Relations and Business Development for the UC Davis Graduate School of Management. She was also the school's first chief diversity officer, in addition to developing and implementing strategies to grow the institution's visibility and financial resources in the Bay Area.

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What impact did HBS have on your life and the life of others?

"No thanks, I'll wait for the real Dean..."

In a world where only 18 percent of business school deans are women, and less than 1 percent are African-American, I live the life of someone who no one expects to be the "one in charge."

Thirty years after HBS, I have learned to "strut my stuff," not to put my degree to the wall as I have been told by so many people. As women and people of color, we need to scream to the world: "We are HBS!"

This is particularly important at an institution like mine, where a majority of the students are first-generation and low-income students of color. Many of my students have never seen anyone like me in a leadership position.

Recently, two African American women students were walking down the hall as I came out of the Dean's suite. They started screaming at the top of their lungs like groupies:

"Omigod! You're our Dean! I can't believe we have an African American woman as our Dean!"

This is the impact HBS has has allowed me to be a visible example so that more people who look like me will see what's possible. This is leadership: being present and doing what I do every day to help young people realize what is possible for them to achieve. This is how HBS changes the world.