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Spotlights

Chief Diversity Officer for NBCUniversal speaks at Otterbein

Chief Diversity Officer for NBCUniversal speaks at Otterbein


Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for NBCUniversal Craig Robinson is on the frontline of creating a culturally diverse community. That’s why Otterbein brought him to campus on Nov. 10 to meet with key administrators and speak at an open session.

During his visit to Otterbein, Robinson met with Cabinet members, students and members of the Institutional Advancement and Admission teams to talk about how diversity and inclusion plays a major part in NBCUniversal’s success.

“When I was asked to come to Otterbein and meet with all these groups, it was music to my ears. It really validates to me that the type of work I do is meaningful and can really make a difference anywhere,” Robinson said.

Robinson was named to his position in August 2011, having previously served from 2008 as president and general manager of KNBC-TV, in Los Angeles. There, he oversaw all aspects of the television station including news, sales and community relations.

Robinson’s interest in public service was sparked at an early age by his parents. His Chinese-American mother retired after a long career working for the County of Los Angeles, much of it spent serving the underrepresented with the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program. Robinson’s father was one of the first African-American consultants for the Fair Employment Practices Commission, where he investigated allegations of racial, sex and age discrimination in housing and employment. Race, equality and civil rights were common discussion topics at the Robinson dinner table and those memories continue to drive his commitment to diversity and inclusion today. He believes those values are what guides organizations who embrace them towards accomplishing more than those who do not.

“Diverse organizations can be more successful organizations,” Robinson said. “At first, our initial changes to include more diverse casts on screen and in our workforce made NBC more money. Now they’re helping to change the entire company culture. We can’t put a price tag on that. It’s tremendous!”

Robinson showed examples on how NBC has broken barriers with content, but also how NBCUniversal has adapted their corporate culture to be more accepting and supportive of all ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations and disabilities, through work sponsored support groups and trainings. Robinson says taking care of employees and making sure they are comfortable and cared about is crucial.

“You can be doing great things on camera and in scripts, but if all your employees don’t even know there are resources and support available to them then it’s as if you’re not doing anything at all. Everything works together in a healthy and inclusive corporate culture,” he said.

Robinson’s visit and insight for the Otterbein community will help make sure the university continues with its mission of being a model community open to all. Robinson was impressed and honored to be part of Otterbein’s ongoing work.

“Being invited to campus really says a lot about Otterbein’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, especially now in a culture when it seems so many are, sadly, pulling back from it.”