NAAHP Member Spotlight on Larissa Liburd
Each week the NAAHP highlights individuals who are making a difference in their communities as well as the business world. Larissa Liburd is the NAAHP Director of Strategic Planning and Manager of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at Venture for America.
She is a strategy, marketing, growth, and partnerships professional and consultant with experience facilitating marketing and social media campaigns, consulting/advising for entrepreneurs and early-stage ventures from ideation through early stage growth, writing grants and proposals, data analysis, front-end web development, writing for and editing digital/print publications, fundraising, and business development.
Larissa will be attending the 6th Annual NAAHP Conference. She is moderating the session: Millennials in Entrepreneurship & Technology in the US and in Haiti. Exploring topics such as Branding & Marketing, to create a platform for the next generation of leaders to leverage their diverse views and entrepreneurial spirits, necessary to bridge the generational gap impeding the speed of success.
10 Questions for Larissa Liburd
Dominique Elkind, NAAHP: Tell us a bit about your personal background.
Larissa Liburd: I was born in Port-au-Prince and moved to the US when I was a little girl; I lived in Miami and New Jersey, and I attended Yale College as an undergraduate. My full-time role is as the Manager of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at Venture for America, a nonprofit entrepreneurship Fellowship program for recent college graduates.
NAAHP: What’s your current job?
LL: I am the Director of Strategic Planning for the NAAHP. I’m also the Manager of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at Venture for America.
NAAHP: How did your background prepare you for your current role? *
LL: As a political science major, I took several courses in, did research on, and constructed project-based simulations around starting and running a business or nation. I’ve held project-based roles in corporate social responsibility and at Venture For America that demand time spent on vaulting projects from their beginning stages to sustainable, profitable business ventures. I also have a background in fundraising and event planning. All of this meant I was uniquely positioned to assist the NAAHP in developing a strategic, five-year vision for itself and its constituents.
NAAHP: What is the biggest challenge of your work?
LL: The team is all-volunteer, so the search for full-time staff has lately consumed my work. Defining the initiatives we should be working on was fairly easy but developing the initiatives themselves requires a greater stake than a volunteer can give.
NAAHP: What would you say has been your greatest career or personal accomplishments so far?
LL: I hope that I am not quite at a point where I can say ‘greatest’ just yet! I am extremely proud of the NAAHP five-year strategic plan, which was the result of months of effort. I would also say I’m thrilled to have become a more disciplined person as I’ve grown older. Discipline used to be a dirty word of sorts, and now it’s another way I explain how I decide on what path is right for me in life and stick to it.
NAAHP: What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned?
LL: Over-communication is key. Making it clear to managers and to those you manage exactly what you are looking for, and acknowledging the difference between requirements versus preferences that you may have while explaining this, is key to a successful relationship.
NAAHP: How long have you been a member of the NAAHP? What’s your best experience thus far?
LL: I’ve been a member since 2015. I think my best experience was attending the first-ever NAAHP staff retreat earlier this year, which saw the executive team come together in NYC for a few days of planning for the NAAHP broadly as well as the conference.
NAAHP: What kind of advice would you give to fellow NAAHP members looking to grow professionally?
LL: Invest in mentorship and sponsorship. Mentors will provide you with general advice or inspiration, and sponsors should be individuals who are willing to go out on a limb to promote you and your work at every step. And be clear when you invest in these people exactly what you want from them! Politely, of course, but with enough clarity so that there is no question of your desire to thrive as a result of their support.
NAAHP: Who or what inspires you?
LL: I’m inspired every day by the people I work with at the NAAHP, we’re a cadre of inventive, predominantly female, and predominantly black individuals working together to elevate a population’s voice. How could I not be inspired?
NAAHP: When you’re not working, where can we find you? *
LL: Probably nose-in-a-book or enjoying being outside with friends, only if it’s not too cold out!