Engaging, authentic, credible.

Minal Bopaiah

I am an author, speaker, and strategist committed to designing a more equitable world. With degrees in English, psychology, and organizational development, and a lifelong passion for diversity and inclusion, I have spent my career cross-pollinating ideas in service of greater social justice for all.

After acquiring a BA in English from Bowdoin College, I began my career in publishing and journalism, first as a production assistant in McGraw-Hill’s Medical PublishingGroup and then as the international and features editor of Boston Metro. I was the first press intern for Doctors Without Borders’ New York office. And for three years, I served as the executive editor of Subscription Insider, an online business publication for digital marketers and information publishers.

I then used my knowledge of communications and marketing in the service of nongovernmental organizations dedicated to global development. In 2016, Organizing for Action, the nonprofit advocacy group started by President Barack Obama, selected me as a Digital Production Fellow. Eventually, I became the marketing and brand manager for Cook Ross, a diversity and inclusion consulting firm founded by DEI leader Howard Ross. There, I led a marketing team of two, creating a strategic plan that led to a 1,450% increase in website traffic, a 30% increase in inbound leads, a 120% increase in social media impressions, a 50% increase in event revenue, and 1,800 opt-ins to the company’s email list in one year. During this time, I also further developed my knowledge of the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility (IDEA), which I had primarily learned through my experience in graduate school and self-study. It was also at Cook Ross that I met my mentor, Johnnetta Betsch Cole.

I spent five years studying clinical psychology in New York. I was a student at Columbia’s post-baccalaureate program, City University of New York’s Master’s degree program, and finally a PhD student at Fordham University. While fascinated by research on implicit bias, gender differences, and behavioral change, I decided to discontinue my PhD studies after acquiring a master’s degree (my thesis examined psychosocial differences in reactions to torture among Punjabi Sikhs and Tibetan Buddhists) because of the field’s inability to account for systemic sources of pathology. However, during this time, I was also working as an educational content specialist at Sesame Workshop—the nonprofit behind Sesame Street and its international co-productions—where I saw how social science research could be used to inform media programming and affect systemic inequality in countries around the world.

My interest in system-level change led me to undergo a nine-month certification program at Georgetown University in organizational development and change leadership. It was in this program that I was first exposed to human-centered design. Given my background in psychology, I saw the wisdom of designing for how humans think and behave and began incorporating it into my work.

I founded Brevity & Wit in 2016 as a way to combine my experiences and interests in human-centered design, IDEA, psychology, organizational development, and strategic communications and marketing so that I could better help organizations achieve the change they wish to see in the world. Since its founding, Brevity & Wit has worked with numerous clients in the media, international nonprofit, and professional services spaces, including NPR, Slate, the International Center for Research on Women, Amnesty International, Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Communications Programs, and Evans Consulting.

I have written for numerous blogs and publications, such as the Stanford Social Innovation Review and The Hill, and have been a guest on several podcasts and radio shows, including The Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU. I have also been an invited speaker at many conferences, including the Forum for Workplace Inclusion and the Public Media Development and Marketing Conference.

I currently serve on advisory boards for Dent Education, a nonprofit that teaches design thinking, entrepreneurship, and making to Baltimore students, and for Bring Change 2 Mind, a San Francisco-based nonprofit founded by actor Glenn Close and her sister, Jessie Close, to end mental health stigma.

I am a proud resident of Silver Spring, Maryland, where I live with my family.