Fri | Jan 22, 2021

Jamaican lands big role at Howard University

Published:Sunday | July 9, 2017 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin
Tashni-Ann Dubroy

Dr Tashni-Ann Dubroy is no stranger to executive positions and success, but her recent appointment as executive vice-president and chief operating officer at Howard University in the United States was just as exciting and humbling.

The Mandeville native told The Gleaner that she has been able to blend her many interests - specifically the sciences and business - a journey that has seen her attaining favourable outcomes as a business owner, chemist, and a professor, among other areas.

"Howard reached out to me. The president of the institution presented a vision with regard to a paradigm shift in executive leadership, especially at HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). It will be an exceptional thing to see two leaders who will be responsible for educating African-American students in particular and just international students at large. This will provide a model for HBCUs, nationwide, who need strong leadership in multiple pockets of the institution, and so I think this is a way to go. I bought into it," said the 36-year-old.

Though she was born in Mandeville, Dubroy grew up in Clarendon, where she attended the Glenmuir High School. She then continued her secondary education at the Holy Childhood High School and Wolmers' Girls School in Kingston, after which she moved to the US to pursue her tertiary education. She noted, however, that she has had her fair share of hurdles to overcome.

College disappointment

"Even though I was a stellar student, there were times I did not always achieve the best of grades. The disappointment actually came when I applied to college in the US. My friends, who had C averages, were getting into better schools than I, and so I went to a community college. That (community college) is what I got into, but I worked hard and I put my mind to it.

"I was able to be the valedictorian while I did not have citizenship, I was an immigrant going to school on a visa and became valedictorian and moved on from there on an academic scholarship to Shaw University. So it really doesn't matter where you start but how you finish," she said.

Dubroy begins her term on October 2 and had some words of advice for young people.

"I always say to young people that there is relentless power in having a positive spirit. I make very bold decisions and I do not listen to the naysayers. Even at this stage in my career when there are a lot of people who operate with a lot of timidity and they try to lend their timid advice to my bold vision that just does not align. I realised at a very young age that if you wanted to have high rewards, you needed to take high risks and high-risk actions."