Click here to view all of the 2018 Alumni Achievement Award recipients.
Over the past 20 years, Torian Richardson has served as an international thought leader whose expertise rests in analytics; culture and people development; strategy; and stewardship. He is a lifelong learner who greatly values the experiences he has had working on four continents and journeying to over 70 countries. Richardson’s “inclusive why” is to inspire the genius in others to live valiantly so that potential is turned into impact.
Born at South Chicago Hospital to a family rooted deeply in Chicago's Southside, he is the product of a working-class, broken home. He lived all over the Chicago area, from west on 87th Street to Southside’s Gresham, Justice and the Aurora/Naperville area. What really shaped Richardson was not only life in these diverse neighborhoods but growing up in a well-intended yet abusive family during his formative years.
Richardson transformed a lackadaisical attitude into earning an NCAA athletic scholarship but ultimately lost it. Once he buckled down, he went on to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Benedictine University in 1999, fighting his way to becoming a first-generation college graduate. He also earned a Master of Public Administration in International Development from Tsinghua University in Beijing and graduated from leadership programs at Harvard Business School.
In the United States, he has held a variety of corporate leadership roles in finance, education and transportation with general management responsibilities of over $80 million. He has served as Chairman of the Board of GlobalMindED as well as a consultant with HBS Club of New York. In Africa, as Pearson’s Business Solutions Director, he was responsible for successfully building educational technology and service businesses throughout the African continent. Living in China for four years as an entrepreneur, Richardson founded Guanxi Universal and lectured at the University of International Business and Economics (Beijing) and Changchun Finance College.
He is currently leading the conversation on navigating uncertainty; access and inclusion; and stewardship through his podcast “Inclusive Why” and writing a book focused on breaking cycles of abuse called West on 87th.