In her role, Pope leads impactful initiatives around sourcing and helping minority and women-owned firms secure contracts with the University for construction, design, and trade projects; overseeing the University’s construction portfolio which has paid more than $1.2 billion to MWLBEs in the past decade. She also spearheads community-driven programs designed to ensure local residents can be part of the institution’s growth.

“I get up every day, go to my office, and I know I’m going to get to help somebody,” Pope said. “I don’t know who it is, I don’t know what I’m going to be asked to do. But, whatever it is, I feel like I’m contributing to the fabric of America. I am helping to make sure all these promises that people think about as the American dream are realized. It’s important to know that I’m part of the solution and not part of the problem. That’s what I look forward to every day. I love looking at problems and trying to figure out how to solve them in a way that people will benefit all around.”

To mark Careers in Construction Month, Columbia Neighbors spoke with Pope about her journey in the supplier diversity space, the importance of representation and showing Uptown youth various career paths in the construction industry, and her favorite places in Upper Manhattan.

What is your earliest memory of witnessing the power of advocacy?