Deonta Wortham

Illustration of Deonta Wortham created by Sarah Duarte

What is Faces of New Profit? It’s a spotlight on members of the New Profit community, why they do what they do, and who they are. This week, we talk to Senior Associate on our Portfolio & Performance Support and Systems Solutions Initiative teams, Deonta Wortham.

What motivated you to work at New Profit and/or in the social sector?

One of my greatest joys in life is to distill the essence of complex issues into small, captivating insights. Prior to working at New Profit I did this as a Research and Program Associate at Social Enterprise @ Goizueta (SE@G) – a social enterprise research center within Emory University’s Goizueta Business School – where I assessed the development of local economic ecosystems in the American South. I absolutely loved this work because it enabled me to assess the vital social role that organizations have in local settings and understand the nuances of organizational development. This work was deeply fulfilling and sparked a deep personal desire to understand how larger organizations grew and pursued social change at a national scale. New Profit in many ways was the perfect place to do that, and here I am.

What is the most surprising thing about you?

I have a masterful command of dry humor. This confuses people all the time and I find it hilarious.

What is the theme song of your life? Or name a few songs that make up the soundtrack of your life.

Music is my muse. I couldn’t pick a few songs so I made a playlist.

What is your favorite quote?

“Simplicity is complexity resolved” – Constanin Brancusi

Who is the greatest influence on who you are today?

My grandmother is one of many people that have made me the man I am today. She was a civil servant in Los Angeles’ legal community for 35 years and was an ardent advocate for her community. Through her example she encouraged me to explore the vital importance of combining civic participation, collaborative discourse, and intellectual rigor to spur social change. In many ways she is my idol.

What is the one thing you think our world is missing today?

Two things: patience and grace