The Business of Diversity and Inclusion


Mark Blankenship, Ph.D. graduated from the California School of Professional Psychology in 1987 and has been putting the organizational psychology program’s unique brand to work ever since. Today, he serves as the Chief People, Culture & Corporate Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President of Jack in the Box Inc.

Mark and his team of about 140 people, oversee many aspects of the 20,000 employee company; among them human resources, consumer insights and research, sales, and guest feedback.

When reflecting on the role that his time at CSPP has played in his professional development, Marks says “The whole experience contributed to who I am in totality.”

Mark knew where he wanted to apply his education before pursuing it. “I deliberately chose CSPP because it is a professional school, I knew I wanted to be a practitioner, and I went to CSPP for that unique model,” Mark says. “The school provided a good balance for making you a good consumer of data and science, yet also preparing you to work as professional.”

Notable among Mark’s impact is his role as the executive sponsor of diversity and inclusion efforts at Jack in the Box.

“At Jack in the Box, we believe strongly that having a diverse composition of the workforce results in better decision making. It is better for business.” He says. “To a degree, that you are less inclusive and less diverse, your thinking can get a little narrow; we like to add depth to our business processes, decisions, and choices and it makes us stronger at the end of the day.”

Mark will be paying a visit to his alma matter next month as an expert panelist for a special diversity and inclusion event taking place on Alliant’s San Diego campus. CSPP will be hosting the San Diego launch of the 10th-anniversary edition of Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks: Standards for Organizations Around the World (GDIB). San Diego’s organizational psychology students will be in attendance and Mark will, no doubt, serve as an inspiration and optimal example of what our alumni can achieve with a steadfast commitment to using their education to make a lasting impact in their field.


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