Harriet R. Michel

Harriet R. Michel
Harriet R. Michel

President
National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)

Harriet R. Michel is the president of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), a private non-profit organization that expands business opportunities for minority-owned companies of all sizes.

The NMSDC Network, which includes 39 affiliated regional councils, matches more than 15,000 certified minority businesses (Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American) with its more than 3,500 corporate members that want to purchase their goods and services. In 2002, NMSDC member corporations’ purchases from minority-owned businesses reached nearly $72 billion.

Ms. Michel is a noted administrator and public policy expert on minority issues. She has worked for over 30 years in the public sector developing and managing programs that address major social concerns.

Before joining NMSDC in September 1988, Ms. Michel was a resident fellow at the Institute of Politics, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, where she taught a course on politics and public policy issues and wrote about black leadership.

From 1983 to February 1988, Ms. Michel was president and chief executive officer of the New York Urban League — the first woman to head the New York Urban League, largest of the National Urban League’s 113 affiliates, since its founding in 1919.

From 1977 to 1979, Ms. Michel was director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Community Youth Employment Programs/CETA in Washington, D.C., where she supervised the allocation of $2 billion for employment and training programs.

As executive director of the New York Foundation from 1972 to 1977, Ms. Michel was the first black woman to head a major foundation. She is a founding member of the Association of Black Foundation Executives and has been a board member of the Council on Foundations. While serving as an assistant to New York Mayor John Lindsay in 1971-1972, Ms. Michel helped coordinate the anti-drug efforts of the city’s public agencies.

She was awarded an honorary degree of doctor of humane letters in 1990 from Baruch College in New York. Ms. Michel has lectured at the Harvard Law School, the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, the University of California at Fresno and the University of Florida.

Ms. Michel is the recipient of numerous awards that include inaugural Champion Award during the 2003 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference; 2003 Ronald H. Brown Leadership Award from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency; 2002 Building Bridges Award from the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and the Pioneer Award from Minority Business News USA / Billion Dollar Roundtable.

Ms. Michel and her husband, Yves Michel, are small-business owners. They have two married sons and make their home in Harlem. Born in Pittsburgh, Ms. Michel received a bachelor of arts degree from Juniata College in Huntingdon, Penn., with a major in sociology / criminology