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Making A Difference

A Visible Example of What’s Possible

Linda Oubre (MBA 1984)

Linda Oubre (MBA 1984) is living the same dream she hopes her students can realize.

“In a world where only 18 percent of business school deans are women, and less than one percent are African American, I live the life of someone who no one expects to be the ‘one in charge’,” says the dean of the College of Business at San Francisco State University. Oubre observes that her HBS degree was the first step to a career that allowed her to “be a visible example so that more people who look like me will see what’s possible.”

After graduating from HBS, Oubre stayed on, working as assistant director in the School’s admissions office. Her corporate career began at the Los Angeles Times, where she started as a planning analyst and later became general manager of new business development. She also worked at Walt Disney Publishing before cofounding BriteSmile, a national chain of teeth whitening spas, in 1999.

At San Francisco State’s College of Business, Oubre and her husband recently endowed the Linda and Nathaniel Oubre Leadership Scholarship for first-generation students of color. She also achieved another dream earlier this year, receiving her doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania.

“Many of my students have never seen anyone like me in a leadership position,” Oubre notes. “Thirty years after HBS, I have learned to strut my stuff.”

(Published January 2018)

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