Principal, The Wiley Group
Bennie Wiley is the Principal of The Wiley Group and was, for 15 years, the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Partnership, Inc. She is an esteemed and sought-after leader, author and speaker on diversity and race relations in America.
Wiley spent her formative years in a segregated Washington, DC One of her earliest memories is celebrating the passage of Brown v. Board of Education with her father. In May 1954, he came home with a bottle of champagne to toast her, then eight years-old, and her 11 year-old sister, because, as he explained, the landmark ruling meant that now they could become anything they wanted to be. That memory has informed and directed the course of Wiley’s life.
After taking the reins at The Partnership in 1991, Wiley built it from a tiny, debt-ridden, organization to a powerhouse that elevated the city of Boston’s dialogue on diversity. The Partnership’s unique mission is to develop professionals of color in Boston, increase their representation in Boston area businesses and institutions. and enhance opportunities for their leadership potential. Through her work at The Partnership, Wiley changed perceptions of race in the city by creating a critical mass of people who understood the importance of attracting, retaining, and developing people of color in Boston. Wiley altered the fabric of Boston and wove it into a tapestry of diverse leaders and ambassadors who were engaged and committed to the city. She continues the work today, energized as she witnesses millennials of different races and ethnicities discuss what they can do to make Boston a better place.
Wiley has been the Principal of The Wiley Group since July 1, 2007, a firm specializing in strategy, talent management, and leadership development. She currently serves as director on boards of the Dreyfus Mutual Funds, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, and CBIZ (NYSE: CBZ). She has served as the chair of PepsiCo’s African American Advisory Board, and formerly served on the board of First Albany (NASDAQ: FACT). Wiley holds a BA from Howard University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She is also the recipient of Honorary Doctorates from Boston College, New England School of Law and Newbury College. Her honors include induction into the Academy of Distinguished Bostonians, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Pinnacle Award for Lifetime Achievement, and Harvard Business School Distinguished Alumni Award from the African American Student Union. She was the subject of a Harvard Business School case, Bennie Wiley and The Partnership.