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In brief: Cambridge Associates taps diversity specialist as DE&I head

The institutional advisory firm has hired Melinda Wright from the Walton Family Foundation to driver DE&I initiatives both internally and with investment partners.

Cambridge Associates has hired a diversity strategist with a background as an educator and lawyer to serve as its first global head of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Melinda Wright has joined the advisory firm for institutional investors to help track and measure diversity efforts within Cambridge Associates, as well as in its clients and their asset managers.

She previously helped to build initiatives to increase diversity and equity within the investment strategy of the Walton Family Foundation (the philanthropic organisation connected to the founders of Walmart), and has led diversity efforts at the non-profit organisation Teach for America and the Westminster School in Simsbury, Connecticut, according to a Cambridge Associates statement.

“Melinda is a very nuanced thinker who can navigate these complex conversations around race and equality,” a spokesperson for Cambridge Associates told New Private Markets.

Internally, Wright will work alongside Cambridge Associates’ human resources team to increase diverse hiring and promotion efforts across the firm. She will also partner Jasmine Richards, head of diverse manager research, to help match investors with minority and women-owned GPs.