Jai-Anana Elliott: the Foster School’s “Transformer of the Century”

Jai-Anana Elliott

Jai-Anana Elliott, who led diversity and recruitment efforts for many years at the UW Foster School of Business, won the 2010 UW Vice President for Minority Affairs and Vice Provost for Diversity Community Building Award.

Talk about well deserved. Elliott envisioned and implemented the Young Executives of Color (YEOC), a nine-month community outreach program, in partnership with EY, that provides life-changing introductions to business careers, college preparation, professional development and mentoring to students from underrepresented communities across the state of Washington. What began with 36 students in 2006 has grown today to a cohort of 180. Since its founding, YEOC has guided nearly 100% of its participants to apply to college and earn acceptance—the vast majority of them the first in their families to achieve this.

During her 2001-2013 tenure at the Foster School, Elliott was the architect of many more initiatives working for greater diversity, equity and inclusion. She established and directed the school’s participation in Alliances for Learning and Vision for Underrepresented Americans (ALVA). She brokered a Boeing internship program for graduating high school seniors from underrepresented communities. And in 2010, she created the Business Bridge program for incoming students of color at Foster.

Jai-Anana Elliott with proud Foster grads in 2015.

Elliott also served as advisor for the Association of Black Business Students and worked closely with many other undergraduate organizations, helping students connect to the school and each other.

She received Foster’s 2009 Staff Excellence Award and was a two-time recipient of the Staff of the Year Award. She also was presented the UW Jeffrey and Susan Brotman Diversity Award in 2002.

Elliott with some past and present champions of DEI in Foster’s Undergraduate Programs.

At the 2017 Centennial Leadership Celebration, she was named the Foster School’s “Transformer of the Century.”

Today, Elliott is the director of Global Diversity & Inclusion at Microsoft.