Debra A. Baker
New York, N.Y.
Debra A. Baker, a managing director in BNY Mellon’s Technology Solutions, recalls her days as an acting resident director in college as early lessons in leadership. “That experience led me to understand what it means to ensure safety and soundness to individuals, and run a large-scale operation. I have been able to build on that and apply it to client services and technology,” she says.
At BNY Mellon, Baker is charged with heading a diverse team called Global Risk Solutions. She takes pride and is committed to being an effective leader. “In my daily life, I am most proud of making a positive difference in other people’s careers and lives. Most importantly, I have an obligation to pick my head up from the obvious and look for opportunities to help develop someone’s potential,” she explains. Those opportunities include volunteer work. “I have seen a different side of giving back by being the board chair of the YWCA of the City of New York. I try to lead board members to ensure our mission is achieved — that is a passion of mine,” she notes.
An economics graduate, magna cum laude, of Niagara University, Baker is equally passionate about goals and maintains “an active bucket list.” One entry is to publish a novel to help young women chart their own paths in life. “I do believe by setting personal goals it has helped pave the way and set expectations for my career and life trajectory,” she says.
Baker has more than 25 years’ experience in management, performance analytics and project planning, and is a former board member for the Women’s Bond Club. These days, her path is centered on family. Since the recent passing of her father, Baker says outside of work, Sunday dinners with her large, extended family is what makes her happy and fulfilled — “bar none.”