How Deborah Wright Became CEO Of The Largest Publicly Traded African American Bank In The US

OneWire, a leading career site for finance professionals, has another instalment of its Open Door video interview series out. This time, OneWire CEO Skiddy von Stade sits down with Deborah Wright, the President and CEO of Carver Bancorp.

Wright discusses her fascinating life story, from becoming one of the first African American children to integrate the Bennetsville, South Carolina school system, to running the largest publicly traded African American bank in the United States.

Wright recalls of her childhood,

“I think for me it was first or second grade when all of the big court decisions came down striking down ‘Separate But Equal.’ And so one Sunday morning, my father volunteered us to be one of the families that would be the first to integrate the Bennetsville elementary school system.”

After earning an AB, JD, and MBA from Harvard University, Wright went on to pursue an incredibly successful career that has spanned both the private and public sectors. Deborah began her career as an Associate at First Boston.

From there, she joined the business advocacy group, New York City Partnership, and was soon named to the New York City Housing Authority Board by Mayor David N. Dinkins. She went on to serve in the Giuliani administration and then headed the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation in 1996.

In 1999, Mayor Dinkins asked Wright to join Carver Bancorp as President and CEO. Wright says of Carver, “The black banking industry‚Ķreally comes out of an era of segregation‚Ķ But that was then, and now is now…”

Watch Skiddy’s interview with Deborah Wright below or visit OneWire to watch more videos from the Open Door series, including interviews with executives such as Tony James, President and COO of Blackstone, and Bill Comfort, Former Chairman of Citigroup Venture Capital.

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