CEO & Founder
Laurel Djoukeng is on a mission to help everyone establish fruitful connections with people worldwide through meaningful engagements. Laurel considers himself a bridge-builder who understands that everyone has the potential to be impactful.
He earned his MBA at Duke University – The Fuqua School of Business in 2020, where he was a Management Leadership for Tomorrow Fellow (MLT). In 2008 he received his Bachelor's in Accounting from Hampton University.
Djoukeng began his career in 2008 as an Associate for Con Edison's Growth Opportunities for Leadership Development (GOLD) Program. His profession in Finance started in 2010 as an Investment Analyst for PGIM Real Estate, a global private equity firm with $70 billion in assets under management. In 2012, he transitioned to the Carlton Group, an international investment banking firm with more than $140 billion in transactions.
In 2011, Laurel founded the Catalyst Network Foundation Inc.(CNF), a 501(c)(3) social enterprise focused on life enrichment and professional development, with a mission to engage high-potential youth and veterans by providing the proper tools, networks, skill-building projects, and development opportunities to maximize talent. Ranking Congressman Ed Towns awarded a proclamation to the Foundation in recognition of the organization's achievements.
CNF programming involves partnerships with 21 high schools, 35 community organizations, and 20 Fortune 500 corporations; Laurel has raised more than $220,000; managed a team of 16 volunteers, 8 board members, and hired more than 6 different Education Program Managers.
Laurel has arranged business, law, and tech symposiums at Google, college fairs, resume development, career, and college preparatory workshops throughout the academic school year, instructing more than 5,000 high school students. Djoukeng has curated more than 30 professional events and diversity career recruiting sessions for CNF.
More than 200 High School students have become CNF Fellowship Scholars (99 percent have graduated H.S., and more than 90 percent of them have enrolled in higher education institutions). Since 2011, the Fellows have experienced corporate tours and pitched capstone presentations and interventions for inner-city school challenges to several companies, including Google, Goldman Sachs, NIKE, LinkedIn, Microsoft, GAP, BET, NPR, Infor, The Carlyle Group, Covington & Burling LLP, The Peebles Corporation, Deloitte, and NBC.
Laurel enjoys bringing ideas to fruition; he is currently learning how to play the guitar, meditates daily, partakes in Hot Yoga weekly, and is always open to a good game of chess. He is a full-time vegetarian, part-time vegan, and works daily to improve the harmony of his Spirit, Mind, and Body.