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Aiko Bethea    

Founder of RARE Coaching & Consulting, Anti-Racism and DEI Educator and Consultant

Aiko Bethea is a leader, builder, and connector. She successfully navigated leadership roles in government, philanthropic. and corporate sectors. In each sector she created new roles to meet growing organizational needs and visions for evolving. Bethea is principal and founder of RARE Coaching & Consulting, a consulting practice focused on coaching leaders and organizations to remove barriers to inclusion. Her practice integrates operations, leadership coaching and education strategies that yield measurable outcomes. RARE is committed to providing the highest quality of executive coaching. A sample of executive coaching clients: Adobe, City of Seattle, GAP (including Athleta, Banana Republic, Old Navy brands), James Irvine Foundation, Satterberg Foundation, and Starbucks. A sample of consulting clients: Intuit, NanoString Technologies, PATH, and Wieden + Kennedy. She leads the Daring Way™ and Dare to Lead™ communities of Brené Brown Education and Research Group, serving as Sr. Co-Director. She overseas development of the diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging strategy and oversite of the global 1000+ member facilitator community.

Prior to this, she served as Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Fred Hutch Research Center, where she reported to the COO. In this inaugural role, she developed and implemented the first enterprise-wide diversity and inclusion strategy. Her expertise in change management, building alliances and collaborations is reflected in her ability to scale impact.

For over seven years, Aiko was with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where she served as a Deputy Director. She led a cross-functional team responsible for compliance and due diligence review of $550M of annual investments. She developed and implemented lean workflow processes and facilitated change management throughout the organization. Bethea has served on several boards and provided pro bono support for nonprofit boards on governance, strategic development, and operational efficiency. She is deeply engaged in community building. She speaks nationally and locally on matters relating to leadership, diversity and inclusion, and organizational development. She is a leadership coach for The Coaching Fellowship, a global leadership program for women committed to social impact work. She is also a leadership coach for the Executive Mentoring and Peer Program for Women in Bio (WIB).

Bethea earned her BA from Smith College in Northampton, MA and her Juris Doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a graduate of the Hudson Institute of Coaching at Santa Barbara and is an ICF professional certified coach. Aiko is a Certified Diversity Professional and is licensed to practice law in Georgia. She was recognized two years in a row by CultureAmp as a leading national voice on diversity and inclusion (2019, 2020). She was also recognized by Forbes as one of the top 7 anti-racism educators (2020). She was selected as an Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility Sr. Fellow for the American Alliance of Museums.

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