What happens when we stop doubting that we belong and we gain the courage to speak up and create changes in our spaces that will promote, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging? The I Belong series is an opportunity for students to hear from leaders of various backgrounds and industries who will share their own stories of belonging.
Are you alumni or a friend of Boston College and would like to share your story about belonging with current undergraduates? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how to get involved!
Christine Montenegro McGrath '87
Chief Sustainability, Well-being, Public & Government Affairs Officer, Mondelēz International
Thursday, February 10, 2022
11:00 AM | Via Zoom
Christine Montenegro McGrath leads the global Impact agenda including Sustainability, Mindful Snacking, Impact Investing and Community Involvement at Mondelēz International, one of the world's largest snacking companies with beloved brands like Oreo, Cadbury, and Milka.
After a successful track record building brands and developing new products and growth platforms, McGrath now brings her extensive innovation experience to challenges like deforestation, climate change, obesity, mindful snacking, and women’s empowerment. In all of this work, McGrath finds the connection that drives growth of the business and positive social impact. McGrath created and is responsible for Cocoa Life, Mondelēz International’s signature sustainability program, which is investing $400 million over ten years in a holistic approach to lead the transformation of the cocoa supply chain through better farming practices, inclusive community empowerment, and forest conservation and restoration.
As a long-time passionate advocate for women and Latinos, McGrath was chosen to be one of fifteen leaders on the company’s inaugural Global Diversity & Inclusion Council. McGrath was named one of Fortune Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Latinas in 2017 and 2018.
McGrath spent over twenty years at Kraft Foods in a dynamic career in Marketing that spanned base brand management, new product innovation and multi-cultural. McGrath led Kraft’s Latino Center of Excellence from 2009 to 2011 and was the driving force in significantly increasing the company’s investment and growth in the Latino market.
McGrath holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Philosophy from Boston College and a Masters in Marketing from J.L. Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University. McGrath received an honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from Boston College in 2021.
McGrath serves on the Executive Committee of the World Cocoa Foundation Board of Directors and co-chairs the Forest Positive Coalition of the Consumer Goods Forum. McGrath serves on the Board of Directors of Josephinum Academy of the Sacred Heart in Chicago. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and two daughters.
Managing Principal, Cushman & Wakefield
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
12:00 PM | Fulton 515
John F. Barros is the Managing Principal of Cushman & Wakefield’s Boston market. In this role, he leads all market activities and drives growth and business performance across a team of more than 180 professionals in Boston, MA and Manchester, NH.
Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield, Barros was appointed by the Mayor of Boston to serve as Chief of Economic Development from 2014 to 2021. In this role, he brought with him a passion for sustainable community development while fostering economic inclusion and equity for all Bostonians. Prior to his appointment, Barros served 13 years as Executive Director of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI), where he successfully led a neighborhood revitalization focused on community wealth creation, producing permanent affordable housing and establishing the largest urban community land trust in the country. He has also held positions at the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, providing insurance for initial public offerings for dot-com startups.
Barros earned a bachelor of arts degree from Dartmouth College and a master’s in planning from Tufts University. He is a graduate of Boston College High School.
Liz Pierre, SSW'24
Miss Massachusetts 2021
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
12:00 PM | Fulton 515
Elizabeth Pierre is the reigning Miss Massachusetts and placed third at the recent Miss America competition. She is the program coordinator at the Center for Teen Empowerment in Somerville, an organization that encourages young people to lead social change. Pierre helps teenagers identify issues they care about—whether it’s the environment or LGBTQ+ rights—and figure out how to make a difference.
Ms. Pierre is currently pursuing a master's degree in the School of Social Work at Boston College and is a graduate of Syracuse University's Human Development and Family Studies program.
Juan Lopera '99
Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, Beth Israel Lahey Health
Wednesday, April 6, 2022
12:00 PM | Fulton 515
As Beth Israel Lahey Health’s inaugural Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Juan Fernando Lopera leads the system’s efforts to transform care delivery for the underserved while establishing diversity, equity, and inclusion capabilities across the system.
Before joining BILH, Juan served as Vice President and Corporate Business Diversity Officer at the combined Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, where he led company-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and co-chaired the company’s Anti-Racism Leadership Taskforce. He also oversaw the Rhode Island Medicaid business and led marketing and community outreach efforts for all public plan products. Previously, he served as the company’s Director of Health Services leading medical cost management and provider contracting strategy and analytics.
Earlier in his career, Juan served as Director of Affordability Strategies at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and held management roles at Deloitte Consulting.
Born in Medellin, Colombia, Juan immigrated to the United States as a child and later graduated from Boston College’s School of Management. Juan has served on many community organizations, including as Vice-Chair of the Board of The Dimock Center; Co-Chair of The Boston Foundation’s Latino Equity Fund; a member of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ COVID-19 advisory groups for health equity and vaccine communications; Massachusetts’ Latino Advisory Commission; and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Economic Opportunity Board.
He resides in Waltham with his wife and two children.