CUP Welcomes New Managing Director, Leadership Institute, Sonnia Shields

As the Managing Director of The Council of Urban Professionals Leadership Institute, Sonnia is responsible for building and implementing a multi-faceted professional development platform focused on preparing the next generation of leaders for the C-Suite. CUP’s Leadership Institute aims to be at the forefront of leveling the playing field for diverse professionals by providing innovative programming, thought leadership, and succession planning.  Sonnia is also responsible for the development and execution of the Leader Engagement and Development (LEAD) program, CUP’s signature initiative aimed at developing the pipeline of high performing mid to senior level professionals of color and women from across the finance, business, law, media, entertainment & advertising, consulting and business sectors.

An accomplished talent management professional with a diverse background in Investment Banking, Training & Development, Recruiting, and Diversity & Inclusion, Sonnia previously served as a Vice President at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where she worked for 11 years.  She held various roles within the firm, most recently serving as the head of Targeted Pipeline Development within the Office of Global Leadership and Diversity.  In this role, Sonnia was responsible for setting the strategic vision and implementation of the firm’s Black, Hispanic, and Multicultural Women talent management initiatives, both internally and externally.  Previous roles at the firm include serving as the Head of Diversity Recruiting for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; Global Manager of the Investment Banking Division New Banker Training programs; and Investment Banking Financial Analyst.

In 2011, Sonnia was recognized as one of the “Most Powerful and Influential Women in the Tri-State Area” by the National Diversity Council.  In February 2012, Sonnia was recognized by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the “Top 40 Rising Stars Under 40.” Sonnia earned a BS in Finance from Hampton University.