Valarie J. Cofield

Valarie J. Cofield

President & CEO, EMSDC

Over the last 30 years, Cofield has worked proactively on all sides of the issues surrounding economic development, equity, supplier diversity, and inclusion; including advocacy at the highest levels of government and industry. She has used her many years working in business, economic development, and supplier diversity to drive opportunities for ethnic minority businesses in the supply chains of corporate, government, and institutional partners. A creative thinker with invaluable experience in contract negotiations, strategy development and opportunity identification, Cofield is a connector and facilitator for business opportunities. Cofield focuses on the intersection of community’s economic health and stability with a robust and thriving small business ecosystem; making the case for economic inclusion through supplier diversity. She has a laser focus on positioning ethnic minority entrepreneurs to meet the current and future needs of the marketplace, by delivering innovative solutions, value and efficiency. Cofield currently serves on Governor Tom Wolf’s Advisory Council on Diversity, Inclusion, and Small Business Opportunities. She is a member of the City of Philadelphia’s Rebuild Oversight Board; the Office of Economic Opportunity’s Advisory Council; the Greater Philadelphia Diverse Procurement Collaborative; and the Economy League PAGE Initiative and a Real Estate & Construction Subcommittee member. Recipient of numerous accolades, in 2020, Cofield was named a “Top 25 Women in Power Impacting Diversity,” by DiversityPlus Magazine. Cofield is an alumnus of Franklin & Marshall College, where she earned a Bachelor of the Arts (B.A.).

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Regional Perspectives
Organizational cultures are just one piece of the picture when it comes to creating a welcoming Pittsburgh region for all - a career destination must be a place where top talent can live, work, and play. What multifaceted efforts are necessary for a more vibrant Pittsburgh region? What could a regional welcoming strategy look like? Join regional leaders for a conversation about the value of place and the creation of a community where all thrive.