Shani BellegardeShani Bellegarde is a Class of 2008 alumna and New York POSSE Scholar with a degree in Government & Law. Shani has ten years of experience in the financial industry; working for various top ten global investment banks in various roles across infrastructure and project management.

Shani has translated her experience as a former president of NIA, into creating Suits & Roots, an online support community for professional women of color; along with developing a monthly discussion series entitled “This Sister Talks,” a forum designed to create charged, empowered conversation among women of color.

Shani is truly enthusiastic about assuming the role of co-chair of the McDonogh Network and working alongside fellow co-chair Ryan Benjamin ’10. She’s looking forward to fostering a network of future thought leaders cultivated by supportive and experienced Black alumni.

Ryan BenjaminRyan Benjamin is a Class of 2010 alumnus and New York POSSE Scholar from Bronx, New York. Ryan graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science. During his time at Lafayette, Ryan was a member of the Association of Black Collegians and the Lafayette Forensics team.

After graduating, Ryan worked for Moody’s Analytics in New York as a financial engineer. In his role, he created and assisted with the maintenance of analytical models of structured finance securities. He also took an active role in recruiting for Moody’s and the creation of a mentoring program, in which Moody’s partners with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, targeting young men of color in New York City.

After spending six years with Moody’s, Ryan now resides in the Washington D.C. area and is a senior consult, data scientist with Booz Allen Hamilton. Ryan is excited to join the McDonogh family and looks forward to working with McDonogh members to build the network into an organization that can effectively support its constituency.