Skip to main content

Stream every public session from the 27th annual Global Conference right here on our website.

The Milken Institute launches HBCU Fellows Program

News Release
The Milken Institute Launches HBCU Fellows Program
The HBCU program is the latest initiative under the Milken Institute’s DEI in Asset Management Program to achieve greater diversity across the industry

WASHINGTON, DC (February 17, 2023) — Today, the Milken Institute launched its Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Strategic Initiative and Fellowship Program, which provides participating students with a rigorous eight-week curriculum that exposes them to the fundamentals of Wall Street and the financial services industry. Upon graduation, students will be matched with internships at top tier asset management firms, with a focus of starting successful careers.

The inaugural cohort consists of 16 students from 10 regionally diverse HBCUs – Bethune-Cookman University, Bowie State University, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, Howard University, Lincoln University, Morehouse College, Morgan State University, North Carolina Agricultural & Mechanical University, Spelman College, and Tuskegee University.

“Our goal is to create financial fluency and build industry intelligence for these talented students, as well as a path to wealth creation by exposing them to a world of influencers that many wouldn’t otherwise have access to,” said Blair Smith, Senior Director, Center for Financial Markets, Milken Institute. “The Milken Institute HBCU Fellows program will put that talent front and center by helping to develop extremely competitive candidates. Our partner, ViableEDU has done a tremendous job of creating a curriculum that will really help prepare students for the real world."

Although HBCUs produce 25% of all bachelor’s degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math fields for African Americans, only 1.4% of the $82 trillion managed by the asset management industry is managed by women- and diverse-owned firms.

With a 150+ year history of educating Black students, as well as Hispanic students, support of HBCUs creates an opportunity to uplift many students from underserved communities while enhancing financial fluency and wealth creation.

“HBCUs continue to be overlooked as a resource for quality talent in the investment industry, despite a decades long history of producing global leaders in financial services,” Smith added. “Creating greater diversity in the asset management space would go a long way towards rectifying many of the issues facing the industry.”

The HBCU Fellows Program is the latest initiative under the Milken Institute DEI in Asset Management Program, which aims to achieve greater diversity across the industry from the entry-level to the executive level. Among the initiatives launched through the program are issue-specific research, the establishment of a high-level Advisory Council, and a series of roundtable discussions focused on advancing diversity in asset management, with a particular focus on women and Black Indigenous People of Color.

Media Contact

Chad Clinton
[email protected]
+1 202 262 1067

About the Milken Institute

The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank focused on accelerating measurable progress on the path to a meaningful life. With a focus on financial, physical, mental, and environmental health, we bring together the best ideas and innovative resourcing to develop blueprints for tackling some of our most critical global issues through the lens of what’s pressing now and what’s coming next. For more information, visit: