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Anne Black, MBA ’99

Chief Operating Officer, Goldman Sachs Gives

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Embodying the ideals of her alma mater, Anne Black is using her business education to effect positive change in the world. As Chief Operating Officer of the donor-advised fund Goldman Sachs Gives, she helps to direct some of the firm’s vast charitable resources to underserved communities around the globe.

After working for three years at advertising agency Young & Rubicam, Black came to NYU Stern to supplement her marketing experience with general business knowledge. She appreciated the School’s diverse and international student body. It was through her professors, coursework, and fellow students that she began to realize how a business school education could be a force for good. “Stern opened my eyes to the wider world. For example, Professor Nouriel Roubini’s economics class gave me a broader understanding of world markets and emerging economies. This all made me see that it wasn’t just about landing a job after graduation. I wanted to feel good about my impact on the community, too,” she said.

Although land a job she did – as Vice President of Operations at IAC – a media and Internet company. While Stern gave her the platform to pivot into a different role within the media industry, her interests again turned toward doing good for society when she had the opportunity to learn about corporate philanthropy while at IAC. She eventually became a fundraiser at the American Museum of Natural History and began focusing full-time on her philanthropic interests, and, she noted, “My MBA degree instilled confidence in the people who I was pitching for support, and they appreciated that I understood the business world.” Black joined Goldman Sachs in 2008 to work on the firm’s 10,000 Women initiative, a five-year, global initiative to provide 10,000 female entrepreneurs around the world with business and management education, access to mentors and networks, and links to capital. While existing within the much larger organization of Goldman Sachs, 10,000 Women allowed Black to experience the type of exhilaration – and pressure – that is typical for executives of start-ups. “Through robust measurement and evaluation, we truly know that women are building businesses and creating jobs. It’s really inspiring.”

Black transitioned to her position on the Goldman Sachs Gives team in 2011. Today a typical work day for Black could mean evaluating the firm’s support of relief efforts following a global disaster like the typhoon that struck the Philippines last November. Or, it could include deepening the firm’s relationship with the military veteran community, through its support of organizations like The Mission Continues, which helps returning veterans gain transition skills as they “redeploy” back home in the US. According to Black, “The organizations we partner with are best-in-class and have inspired many of us in their commitment to service and patriotism to our country.” 

Reflecting on her journey, Black observed, “My fascination for both the differences and the commonality among humanity, combined with my passion for learning, has led me down a career path that I find both personally and professionally fulfilling.”