David Gould’s background and resume make him the perfect person for the job.
The 31-year-old former University of Rochester basketball player is a Germantown native experienced with working in the community. That included a stint as the deputy director for community engagement and communications for Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s Rebuild initiative.
So it only makes sense that Gould takes over the newly appointed role of Chief Diversity and Impact Officer for Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, which owns the 76ers, New Jersey Devils and Delaware Blue Coats.
The Germantown Friends School graduate will spearhead HBSE diversity and inclusion programs and initiatives.
His appointment comes one month after the organization committed $20 million to fight systemic racism and champion equality. That included $10 million in the contributions from the Sixers in the NBA’s new foundation to drive economic empowerment in the Black communities. The NBA and NBPA formed the joint foundation and the league pledged $300 million, with players having an opportunity to determine where it goes.
Gould’s promotion comes after joining the Sixers in April to become the executive director of their youth foundation.
“Growing up where I grew up and spending a lot of time in rec center playing basketball and the work I was doing with the city, I’m familiar with a lot of the challenges, unfortunately, that we face in neighborhoods across the city,” said Gould, who was a combination guard at Rochester. “I know how issues of race have perpetuated a lot of those challenges. I know the experience, I lived it, in many respects of Black and brown within people Philadelphia.”
Between the Black male’s lived experience and the work that he’s done professionally, Gould has spent a lot of time listening to the challenges that could be made easier. He’s excited to use that knowledge, firsthand experiences and relationship to figure out how HBSE as a company can have an impact.
Gould will work closely with the company’s diversity and inclusion advisory board and human resources as a way to implement an inclusion and diversity strategy.
He’ll also spearhead HBSE’s commitment and promotion of racial equality, which involves investing in Black communities, supporting Black and minority-owned businesses, promoting education, health and employment opportunities in Black communities and amplifying and building a diverse and inclusive workplace across HBSE.
He received a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Rochester in 2011 before receiving a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government in 2014.
“The leveling of the playing field and ensuring seats at the table for those who otherwise would not be there is David’s guiding light," said Philadelphia Councilwoman Cherelle Parker. "From the moment David’s day begins to when it ends, he is actively thinking about ways to make Philadelphia more fair and equitable.
"His tireless leadership coordinating community engagement, communications and diversity for the city’s Rebuild initiative were incredibly impactful. He will take that same work ethic and drive into his new position and make a tremendous, tangible and substantive change.”