September 21, 2023

The Bridgespan Group Announces Appointment of Carmita Semaan, Founder and CEO of the Surge Institute, as Its Newest Fellow

Semaan will help bring a stronger equity lens to Bridgespan’s client work and research.

BOSTON—September 21, 2023—The Bridgespan Group announced today that Carmita Semaan, founder and CEO of the Surge Institute, has been named a Bridgespan Fellow.

According to Bridgespan Partner Olivia Peoples: “Carmita will help strengthen Bridgespan’s ability to bring an equity lens to our client and knowledge (insights and publishing work), leveraging her experience in supporting, developing, and elevating cohorts of leaders of color and in building talent pipelines as a lever for transformative change in communities.” Semaan will work directly with Bridgespan teams to advise on client cohort work and collaborate on research.

“Carmita is extremely adept at fostering the genius of seasoned leaders, especially women and leaders of color,” added Preeta Nayak, partner and head of Leadership & Community Services at Bridgespan. “She has a real gift for shining a light on the genius that is too often overlooked and untapped in solving systemic issues. I can’t think of anyone better positioned to help Bridgespan refine and strengthen our commitment to equity in our work. We’re excited to collaborate with and learn from her.”

Said Semaan: “This is an exceptional opportunity for me to work with an organization that’s trying to pursue equity by truly ‘walking the walk.’ I’m eager to dive in and work with the Bridgespan team.”

Semaan founded the Surge Institute—which aims to develop leaders of color who create transformative change for young people, their families, and their broader communities—in 2014. She has also served as chief executive officer of Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy and chief strategy officer of America’s Promise Alliance.

Semaan completed a fellowship with Leadership Greater Chicago in 2009, the Broad Residency in Urban Education in 2007, and the Aspen Pahara Fellowship in 2010. She holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

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About the Bridgespan Group

The Bridgespan Group ( is a global nonprofit that collaborates with social change organizations, philanthropists, and impact investors to make the world more equitable and just. Bridgespan’s services include strategy consulting and advising, sourcing and diligence, and leadership team support. We take what we learn from this work and build on it with original research, identifying best practices and innovative ideas to share with the social sector. We work from locations in Boston, Johannesburg, Mumbai, New York, and San Francisco.

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