The Right Fit

USD alumna Pamela Gray Payton is Chief Impact and Partnerships Officer and Vice President of Community Impact San Diego Foundation

Pamela Gray Payton / Chief Impact and Partnerships Officer and Vice President of Community Impact / San Diego Foundation

Looking back, Pamela Gray Payton ’16 (MSEL) credits the Knauss School of Business, and specifically the Master of Science in Executive Leadership program, with helping her build confidence to be the type of leader she always wanted to be — one who successfully prioritizes both profit and people. 

“Through the MSEL program, I learned to see things in a different way. And for me, that really helped in my career, but even more so, it helped me as a person,” says Payton.

As chief impact and partnerships officer and vice president of community impact at the San Diego Foundation, she is eloquent about her professional path to advance the quality of life for San Diegans.

“I got clarity on my purpose and was reaffirmed that it’s OK to care about people and to also care about the bottom line. You can do both and you can really build an organization using both principles.”

Today, Payton sees her role at the San Diego Foundation as a match made in heaven. It’s a place where she can be true to herself, grow even more as a leader, and work to advance just, equitable and resilient communities.

“At work, I don’t have to leave any part of me at home, literally or figuratively. I get to bring all of me into my workplace and I’m valued for doing so. And that means everything to me. I get to truly be my authentic self and that person is someone who others respect. I’m so grateful to have found such a perfect professional fit.”  Bridget Breitenberg

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