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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives

Sulaiman Rahman

Founder & CEO


Location: Philadelphia, PA

Founded: 2017

Industry: Human Resources

Sulaiman Rahman is the founder and chief executive officer of DiverseForce, a human capital solutions firm specializing in helping organizations to recruit, retain, engage and develop top diverse talent.

Rahman’s journey to success began in 2007 with the founding of Urban Philly Professional Network (now known as BBEx Network), a professional network that has grown to become one of the Philadelphia area’s largest networks, boasting over 20,000 subscribers and representing talent pipelines from early career to C-suite.

DiverseForce has emerged as a leading player in the social impact sector, offering solutions such as the DiverseForce On Boards program in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania and DiverseForce Executive Search.

Rahman serves on numerous boards and committees, including Philanthropi Charitable, the Community College of Philadelphia Foundation, Mastery Charter Schools, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Kimmel Center of Performing Arts, the Lenfest Institute of Journalism and Lendistry. His contributions have received recognitions that include President Obama’s Gold Volunteer Service Award and the 2016 Democratic National Convention’s Volunteer Committee Co- Chair appointment.

Rahman’s entrepreneurial spirit is evident in his pivot into the competitive retained executive search business, a move that has proven fruitful for DiverseForce.

“A year and a half ago, we decided to pivot into the competitive retained executive search business without past experience,” Rahman said. “We scaled up our team to seven full-time employees in that line of business, leveraging profits from other lines of our business. We were in the red in year one, but now it’s a profitable line of business on track to be a seven-figure line of business for us by year-end.”

Rahman said his company tackles complex challenges with a collaborative approach, and it is leaning on artificial intelligence as well.

“We meet with our leaders and team weekly to hear about any challenges and we brainstorm ideas to solve the problem,” he said. “When appropriate, we research ideas and/or new technology that can help to alleviate the problems. We have recently integrated artificial intelligence into our operations and research.”

Rahman has been recognized with numerous honors, including Entrepreneur of the Year by VestedIn in April 2023, the F.I.R.S.T. Thrive Impact Award by Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority in March 2023, the Knowledge for Impact Award by Wharton Executive Education in October 2021, the Power 100 list by Philadelphia Business Journal in November 2019, OIC’s Game Changer Award by OIC Philadelphia in April 2019 and the Black History Month Innovator Award by U.S. Sen. Bob Casey in February 2019.

“Rahman has also prioritized diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in the workplace,” his team said.

“He has been involved in several initiatives aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace and helping individuals of color access good- paying jobs,” the company said. “His expertise in community building and leadership has made him an invaluable asset to organizations seeking to cultivate diverse talent and achieve scalable impact.”

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Did you know?

I was an introvert growing up who feared public speaking and went from that to speaking for a living for audiences as large as 15,000 at the MGM.


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