Event Details



Wednesday, February 10th, 2021
6:00 pm to 7:15 pm EST

In celebration of Black History Month, PCCW’s DEI Subcommittee is honored to present a Panel Discussion entitled “What does it mean to be a powerful Black working woman in America today?” Navigating the working world as not only a woman but a Black woman can have its challenges, including bias – unconscious and conscious. We will hear from three accomplished Cornell Professionals as they share and discuss their career experience in navigating adversity, including challenges faced, challenges overcome, and existing challenges looming large. Our esteemed moderator and panelists include:

Cynthia Cuffie ‘74

Dr. Cynthia Cuffie is an endocrinologist and an executive coach with over 25 years of global pharmaceutical clinical research development experience. As a corporate executive, she led global strategic and operational cross-functional research teams in a variety of therapeutic areas, including cardiology, endocrinology, oncology, and dermatology. As a senior leader, she developed and executed leadership programs for emerging diverse leaders in partnership with Human Resources teams and led a regional employee group mentoring program during a period of organizational restructuring. She was a founding member of the company’s first affinity group, The Women’s Network and served as Chair of Programs.

Dr. Cuffie has extensive experience in patient management. For many years while managing her corporate responsibilities, she maintained patient contact and teaching responsibilities as a clinical instructor and attending physician at Rutgers University affiliated hospitals in Newark, NJ.

Recognized for her scientific expertise, Dr. Cuffie selected and led scientific panels of experts for Data Safety Monitoring Boards, Steering Committees, and Adjudication Committees. In addition to presenting to global regulatory authorities, she served on an FDA Advisory Panel focused on expanding clinical trial diversity.

For the past ten years, Dr. Cuffie has focused on leveraging her corporate leadership experience, clinical training and professional coaching skills to provide executive coaching, career planning and leadership development services to organizations, professionals and students in a variety of industries. She is certified to administer commonly used assessments for leadership and team development, career planning, conflict resolution, and 360 feedback. Consequently, she is able to provide comprehensive customized services tailored to her clients’ needs.

Dr. Cuffie completed an endocrinology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY. She received a MD degree from Rutgers University, Newark, NJ and a BS degree from Cornell University College of Human Ecology, Ithaca, NY. She is an International Coaching Federation certified executive coach with a certificate in career planning from New York University, New York, NY.

Dr. Cuffie is the recipient of many awards, including the Thurgood Marshall Award of Excellence, Outstanding Women in the Pharmaceutical Industry, and Outstanding Multicultural Leader – Promoting Diversity. She has served on various boards, including the American Heart Association of Central New Jersey and The Pingry School. Currently, Dr. Cuffie serves on the Cornell University Board of Trustees and has held leadership roles in many Cornell organizations, including the President’s Council of Cornell Women, the College of Human Ecology Dean’s Advisory Board, and the Cornell Black Alumni Association. In 2013, she established a Family Endowment at Cornell to encourage scientific research in underrepresented groups.

Dr. Cuffie is a native of Newark, NJ, a first-generation college graduate, and a mother of three daughters. She resides in Far Hills, NJ.

Kimberly Dowdell B’Arch ‘06

Kimberly Dowdell is a licensed architect and frequent speaker on the topic of architecture, diversity, sustainability and the future of cities. In her recently completed term as the 2019-2020 national president of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), she worked closely with her board of directors and staff to increase opportunities for women and people of color to gain more equitable access to the building profession. She also more than doubled the organization’s membership and significantly raised NOMA’s profile during her two-year presidency. Kimberly’s career aspirations are rooted in her upbringing in Detroit where she was initially driven to utilize architecture as a tool to revitalize cities. She earned her Bachelor of Architecture at Cornell University and her Master of Public Administration from Harvard University. Her professional experience has spanned from architecture to government and teaching to real estate development. Kimberly is currently a Principal in the Chicago studio of HOK, a global design firm. She is a LEED accredited professional, a co-founder of the SEED Network and an AIA 2020 Young Architect of the Year awardee. Kimberly was recognized by Crain’s Detroit Business and Crain’s Chicago Business as a 40 Under 40 honoree in 2018 and 2020, respectively. Kimberly’s overarching mission is to improve the quality of life for people living in cities.

Donna Dozier Gordon ‘81

Donna Dozier Gordon is director of Diversity & Inclusion for HomeServe USA, a leader in the home warranty and home services space. In this capacity, she leads the strategy development and implementation of initiatives in support of the company’s newly launched commitment to Diversity & Inclusion.

Prior to HomeServe, Dozier Gordon was Director of Diversity & Inclusion for the United States Tennis Association (USTA). Under Dozier Gordon’s leadership, USTA launched a series of Supplier Diversity Showcase events to facilitate diverse supplier relationships and underscore the Association’s commitment to grow its spend with diverse suppliers. She is also responsible for the launch of a Leadership Development Institute to support the career advancement and development of the leaders of USTA’s seven Business Resource Groups.

Dozier Gordon has also worked with Darden Restaurants where she held several positions of increasing responsibility. Among them, she established and managed Darden’s Supplier Diversity effort, led its purchasing liaison function, rolled out diversity training to the company’s more than 1,700 general managers and was also responsible for administration of the company’s LEED Gold-certified headquarter facility.

She has also worked in the areas of diversity management, public and community relations for the Hotel Division of Cendant Corporation (now Wyndham Worldwide), Burson-Marsteller, The Rowland Company and the New York City Office of the Mayor.

Dozier Gordon earned her B.A. degree from Cornell University, her M.P.A. from the Wagner School at New York University and an M.B.A. from the Crummer Business School at Rollins College.

Kim Thompson ‘87

Kim Thompson is a Principal at PwC and a CEO Action for Racial Equity Fellow. In her Fellowship role, she drives social and racial justice through public policy. Previously, Kim was PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Global Advisory Risk & Quality Leader, providing quality and risk management advice on a wide range of issues to PwC’s Global Deals, Consulting and Forensics businesses. Kim also led the PwC Global Risk Management Consultations Support and Analysis team, providing risk management advice to the PwC Network on emerging risk issues across all of PwC’s lines of service. Kim also served as the U.S. firm’s Black Inclusion Network Leader. Kim previously served in PwC’s U.S. Office of the General Counsel advising the U.S. Advisory and Assurance businesses. Before joining PwC, Kim was a commercial and securities litigator with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

Kim has a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law where she was an editor of the California Law Review. She earned her A.B. in philosophy from Cornell University.

Kim is an active participant in her local community and serves on the boards of Legal Services for Children and the S.H. Cowell Foundation, both of whom focus on the needs of economically disadvantaged youth. Kim also serves on the board of the Berkeley Law Alumni Association and is a member of the President’s Council of Cornell Women (PCCW) where she serves on the Steering Committee as Vice Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

In 2012, the San Francisco Business Times named Kim as one of the 150 Most Influential Women in Business. In 2013, Kim was named California Law Review’s Alumna of the Year. In 2013 Kim also received Friends of Oakland Parks & Recreation’s annual Ann Woodell Community Award and was an honoree at the 2013 Oakland Parks and Recreation Salute to Excellence and Community Spirit. In 2016, Oakland Magazine recognized Kim and her husband for their volunteer and philanthropic work in the magazine’s annual Best of Oakland and East Bay edition.