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Carmita Semaan
Founder & CEO
Surge Institute

Carmita Semaan is Founder and CEO of The Surge Institute. Her superpower is supporting and elevating the genius of emerging and seasoned leaders - particularly women and people of color - and shining a light on the brilliance and ingenuity that is too often overlooked and untapped in solving systemic issues.  Carmita hails from Birmingham, AL and proudly professes that her hometown made her who she has become. Birmingham’s history has greatly shaped what she feels called to do and the hustle, horsepower and heart she exhibits. Her guiding principle is the connection of head, heart, and soul in leadership to drive sustainable impact and lasting partnerships.Carmita holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan. She received the 2020 Advancing Equity Award from Innovation for Equity, the 2016 Chicago Business Journal’s Women of Influence Award, was recognized as a “40 Under 40” Procter & Gamble alumnus and was selected as a 2013 Marshall Memorial Fellow by the German Marshall Fund. Carmita is a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, a 2009 Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow, and is a graduate of the Broad Residency in Urban Education. She honors her love for education equity, creative arts, and the amplification of and investment in womxn community leaders via numerous boards and volunteer engagements.Carmita lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and their beloved goldendoodle, Jefferson.



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