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With two decades of experience growing and leading firms, Donald Thompson is a thought leader on goal achievement, influencing company culture and driving exponential growth.  As an entrepreneur, Donald has led companies which have attained successful exits with strong returns for shareholders and employees. Donald is an angel investor personally infusing over a million dollars in North Carolina ventures alone.

Donald Thompson is CEO and co-founder of The Diversity Movement. Known globally for its groundbreaking diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programming that drives real-world business results, the company was named to Inc. Magazine’s 2021 Best in Business List in DE&I Advocacy and Fast Company’s 2022 “world-changing ideas.” Recognized as a Forbes Next 1000 honoree, Thompson is also on the Business North Carolina list of leaders making a significant impact on the state’s organizations, industries, and communities.

An advocate for workplace excellence, Thompson has innovated in applying business objectives to DEI work, pushing the boundaries of what it means for an organization to be culture-centric while attaining strong returns for employees and shareholders. 

Thompson’s career centers on growing and leading companies. His expertise is goal achievement, influencing company culture, and driving exponential growth. He is a Certified Diversity Executive (CDE). Recognized as a leader with an executive perspective across multiple industries, Thompson serves as a board member for Easterseals UCP, Vidant Medical Center, Raleigh Chamber, TowneBank Raleigh, and several others in the fields of technology, marketing, sports, and entertainment. As an angel investor, he focuses on building companies with transformative value.

Thompson writes a weekly leadership column for WRAL TechWire and has written for many other publications, including and CNBC. He hosts the “High Octane Leadership” podcast, ranked in the top 10% downloaded globally. An engaging keynote speaker, he entertains and engages audiences by demonstrating how DEI can change the world by transforming the workplace and society. As a leadership and executive coach, Thompson helps executives utilize new tools and thinking to rapidly develop better management skills and leadership abilities as they work in the ever-evolving business landscape. Thompson is the author of Underestimated: A CEO’s Unlikely Path to Success (Morgan James). 

Thompson lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with his wife, Jackie, and has four adult children. 

Growing up, I learned how to get knocked down and get back up. You have to push through, because the goal you want to attain is so much greater than the work you have to put in. You put in the pain because the promise is so much greater.

Donald Thompson