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Multicultural Leader

D. A. Abrams
Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
United States Tennis Association

D.A. Abrams is the Chief Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Officer for the United States Tennis Association (USTA), at the national headquarters in White Plains, NY a position he assumed in February 2012. There, he focuses on developing and innovating the USTA's D&I initiatives on both the national and grass-roots levels.

As an author and Certified Association Executive (CAE), Abrams utilizes a six-prong approach, while advocating D&I as one of the USTA's core values. He launched the USTA's first "Cross Cultural Dexterity Training" program in 2013 that serves to increase understanding of the impact of exclusionary behavior and the power of culture. He also developed a company-wide scorecard to measure the achievements of the USTA's D&I objectives. In 2013, Abrams launched a company-wide internship program. The program was implemented to provide diverse college-age students the opportunity to live the USTA experience for eight weeks.

Abrams oversees and operates the D&I training for all USTA Board of Directors, Council Chairs, Committee Chairs, C-Suite, USTA Staff, as well as the Presidents, Delegates and Executive Directors of all 17 USTA Sections. He serves as the chair for a 22-member D&I Advisory Group at the USTA that serves to implement change and address various areas of opportunity within the organization.

He is also responsible for overseeing and cultivating the USTA's 7 Business Resource Groups (BRG). Under his leadership, the USTA has made significant contributions to the business of the organization, including enhanced partner benefits and a greater parental leave policy for both mothers and fathers. Since his appointment as CDO, the USTA has heightened its Supplier Diversity efforts, with the 2013 year end spend with diverse suppliers equaling 13%.

Abrams has been involved professionally in tennis since 1989 and has worked with the USTA in various capacities since 1993. In 1997, he became the first African-American to serve as the executive director of a regional/sectional office, assuming the post for the USTA Missouri Valley Section. After returning to the national office in 2000, he was hired as the executive director of USTA Eastern in 2006, making him the first person ever to pilot two different USTA sections. In 2000, he was named one of Tennis Industry Magazine's "Top 40 under 40" tennis executives.

In 2013, Abrams published two books - "Certified Association Executive Exam: Strategies for Study & Success" (May 2013) and "Diversity & Inclusion: The Big Six Formula for Success" (July 2013). In 2012, Sports Business Journal highlighted Abrams in their "Executive Transactions" section and Savoy Magazine featured him and the USTA in its "Corporate Diversity Matters" section. In addition, he's been featured on the covers of Associations Now Magazine (July 2012) and Diversity Executive Magazine (August 2013). He was named one of Tennis Industry magazine's "Top 40 under 40" tennis executives in 2000.

A native of Philadelphia, Abrams played tennis at Millersville University in Pennsylvania, where he earned his undergraduate degree in accounting. Subsequently, Abrams earned a master's degree from Metropolitan State University in Minneapolis.

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