Carmita Semaan

Carmita Semaan

Founder & President

The Surge Institute

Carmita Semaan is Founder and President of The Surge Institute. The Institute’s signature Fellowship is transforming education by training, supporting, connecting and elevating emerging diverse leaders. Carmita supports and elevates the genius of emerging and seasoned leaders and shines a light on the brilliance and ingenuity that is too often overlooked and untapped in solving systemic issues.  


After starting her career as an engineer and strategist for multiple Fortune 500 companies, corporate America could not contain Carmita’s desire to lead initiatives that benefit youth and revitalize communities - so she blazed a trail within the non-profit sector, primarily in K-12 education. Carmita’s commitment to serving our country’s young people led her to over a decade of executive service, driving results for visionary leaders including Alma Powell, Gen. Colin Powell and Arne Duncan, the former US Secretary of Education.


Though an adopted Chicagoan, Carmita hails from Birmingham, AL and proudly professes that her hometown made her who she has become. Birmingham’s history has greatly shaped what she feels called to do and the hustle, horsepower and heart she exhibits.


Carmita holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Equity, Access, & Justice

Building a Sustainable Antiracist Learning Environment

Carmita Semaan
Sharif El-Mekki
Matthew Kay
Shaka Mitchell
Lavada Berger
Details