Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the Southern California CDAO Community

Ghada Richani

Managing Director, Data & Technology Strategy and Project Management Office

Bank of America

Ghada Richani is Managing Director, Data & Technology Strategy and Project Management Office at Bank of America, a $95 billion, 217,000 employee, globally recognized financial organization. She is also a Diversity and Inclusion champion focusing on young women in technology and uncovering unconscious bias.

Learn more about the Southern California CDAO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

Ghada's career trajectory took a meandering path. After earning a degree in software engineering, she embarked on roles at Microsoft and Oracle as a consultant, deepening her commitment to solving business challenges through technological solutions. Following a period of unrest in her home country, Ghada immigrated to the United States, where she joined Bank of America. 

Over the years, she navigated through various lines of business, gradually expanding her capacity and responsibilities. In 2017, Ghada transitioned to the risk organization, where she established the data strategy team. Through her leadership, she spearheaded long-term data and technology transformation programs, driving operational excellence and laying the groundwork for the bank's next generation of capabilities to effectively mitigate risks.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

One of my guiding leadership principles centers around the belief that inclusiveness and diversity of thoughts are the secret ingredients of success. I emphasize creating an environment that values and embraces diverse perspectives, fostering a culture where every voice is heard and respected. This principle not only enriches decision-making processes but also cultivates innovation, creativity, and resilience within the team, ultimately contributing to the overall success and growth of the organization.

With disruption being a key theme of recent years, where do you see the CDAO role going in the next 1-2 years?

As an executive, particularly in the context of recent disruptions, I anticipate that my role will evolve significantly over the next 1-2 years. The landscape of business is rapidly changing, and I foresee a heightened focus on navigating uncertainty and leveraging technological advancements to drive innovation and resilience. 

The role will likely involve more strategic agility, with an emphasis on adapting to emerging trends and disruptions. Collaborating closely with cross-functional teams and fostering a culture of continuous learning and adaptation will be paramount. Additionally, there will likely be an increased emphasis on sustainability, digital transformation, and a holistic approach to risk management to ensure the organization remains agile and competitive in an evolving business environment.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out as a CDAO?

Align your actions with the business objectives, placing a strong emphasis on inclusivity. Strike a balance between confidence and humility in your leadership approach. Recognize the demanding nature of your role and prioritize self-care to ensure sustained effectiveness.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

  1. I enjoy the outdoors especially hiking, and camping.
  2. I come from Lebanon.
  3. I'm a mother of 4, 3 kids and a dog :)

What is the value of joining an Evanta community?

The Evanta local community provides me with a support network with like-minded, accomplished individuals where experiences and knowledge can be shared abundantly.

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