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Mareme Dieng ’13 Combines College with Leadership Role in Silicon Valley

Mareme Dieng ’13 from Senegal, is combining a rigorous schedule as a college Senior with a prestigious role as Head of International Partnerships and Relations at Draper University. As her job requires her to attend and speak at global conferences in cities like Tunis, San Francisco, Istanbul and Barcelona, Mareme remains focused on pursuing a path of consistent innovation. At college, she is writing a Society, Culture and Thought thesis on Pierre Bourdieu, building an entrepreneurship program and researching the effects of menstruation on female preference of male facial traits.

ALA 2015 Alum, Mareme Dieng, from Senegal.

After graduating from ALA in 2015, Mareme joined Draper University, the beginning of her long association with the program. In 2016, she joined as an intern and returned again in 2017 to staff Draper University’s summer program. She was recently appointed as the Head of International Partnerships and Relations, with the plan to transition fully into the position upon graduation from Bennington College next year.

“Draper University is an innovative ecosystem, and within it, we have a program for start-ups. My team currently works on all international activities, including both existing international start-ups and ones we invest in. I travel a lot to meet with institutional partners and to manage the relationships we have with them,” said Mareme. 

On behalf of Draper University, Mareme also attends and speaks at global conferences. In September, Mareme spoke at the afric’Up summit in Tunisia, which convened technology and innovation leaders from throughout Africa. She then traveled to Amsterdam for the World Summit AI, where she spoke on the development of AI and financial structures. In mid-November, she was in Turkey for the Turkish National Startup competition, and then Barcelona for the Blockchain Leadership Summit.

Mareme’s postgraduate dream is to work on the development of a new Draper campus for emerging markets, ideally based in Africa or Southeast Asia.  

“I’d like to establish a campus that could hold corporate offices, investor offices, and start-up offices, creating synergies between those populations and directing more effort to research given problems. The structure would allow start-up investors, states, and corporations to collaborate on projects while also including training for start-ups and five-week sessions to promote alternative ways of engaging with entrepreneurship,” said Mareme. 

During her junior year at Bennington College, Mareme spent her time abroad in France, where she partnered with Schoolab, an innovation studio that works with students, startups, and large corporations to make industries more flexible, innovative, and appealing to young employees. 

“Working with Schoolab was an intense experience because I was balancing it with my own studies. It wasn’t easy, but I’m happy I did it because I learned about myself, the things I want to do, and the type of environment in which I want to work,” said Mareme.

Mareme has used her time at Bennington to explore both broadly and deeply. She initially intended to study Biology and Dance, but over time, her focus shifted to include Social Psychology.

Do you know of a young leader in your community who has the perseverance and determination to drive change across the world? Nominate them for our two-year Diploma Program. 

Read the full article on Mareme on Bennington College’s website here