Diahann Billings BurfordsqDiahann Billings-Burford: Dedicated to Service, Problem-Solving and Social Conscience
Executive Director, Cultural Investments, Time Warner Inc.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/diahann-billings-burford-ab030885

Bio: Executive Director, Cultural Investments, Time Warner, Inc.; Previously Chief Service Office, NYC Service; Deputy Executive Director-External Affairs, City Year New York

Innovating in Field of Work:

  • Diahann serves as a senior member of the Cultural Investments management team and has have primary responsibility for the strategic direction philanthropy and the programs and resources we provide to stimulate and support employee community engagement, and our community investments in New York City.
  • The nation and New York City’s first Chief Service Officer.  Founding leader of NYC Service- a mayoral agency created to promote civic engagement as a solution to citywide challenges and meet the Mayor’s State of the City pledge to answer President Obama’s nationwide call to service.
  • Developed programs to match citizens with service opportunities more easily, and promote service as a core value of citizens of NYC.


  • At NYC Service, implemented 25 initiatives to meet service goals, engaging over 1.3 million New Yorkers in range of volunteer activities with measurable outcomes for New Yorkers.
  • Columbia Law School Black Student Association Leadership Award, 2011
  • New York City Housing Authority, Board Member since 2013-2015
  • buildOn Board Member since 2011
  • John M. Tisch School Civic Engagement, Board of Advisors
  • NYU Leadership Initiative, Advisory Committee
  • Brooklyn Public Library, Board Member, 2012-2013

Role Model:

  • Member, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc (advocacy and social change Greek org.)
  • Long history of formal and informal mentor to other women, particularly from similar backgrounds and challenges (minority, poor, etc.)
  • Focused on helping next generation find success despite obstacles by charting their own unique path.

Reinvention / Risk / Momentum:

  • Firm belief–The greatest societal problems have solutions, but these solutions can be complex and require that the public, private and social sectors all play the appropriate role to overcome them.
  • “Constantly seeking…new ways…of solving the most pressing problems facing our country.
  • Moves readily from private to public sectors and back again; dedicated to helping others whether occupying corporate or government office
  • Long and disruptive path from middle school teacher to Time Warner executive.

“Diahann is most at home when she’s in a new place, learning from new people, contributing her ideas to help come up with new and real solutions on long standing problems.”