Sekou Siby

Sekou Siby

Job Quality Fellow, Class of 2022-23, Economic Opportunities Program

President & CEO, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United

Dr. Sekou Siby leads the national staff of Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United to support membership operations, training and education programs, community and public engagement, policy advocacy, and organizational development. Under his leadership, ROC United is building worker power and promoting policies that improve the lives of restaurant workers and their communities.

Dr. Siby’s inspiring story tells a remarkable rise from his native Ivory Coast to New York City, where he survived the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He first worked as a cab driver and as a cook at the Windows on the World. He then co-founded ROC United, managing and organizing major campaigns and bringing hundreds of restaurant workers to victory against wage theft and wage inequality.

A polyglot—speaking four languages—Dr. Siby was featured in major national publications and television networks. He was awarded the prestigious Heroes Award by the Robin Hood Foundation in 2013 and the National Leading from the Inside Out Yearlong Fellowship by the Rockwood Leadership Institute in 2018. Early this year, he was elected to the board of the National Skills Coalition. He is also a member of the Cornell Worker Institute Advisory Council and the board treasurer for African Communities Together. He holds an MBA and DBA in business management from the University of Phoenix School of Business.

Dr. Siby is a member of the Job Quality Fellowship Class of 2022-23. To learn more about the Job Quality Fellows, visit

The Job Quality Fellowship is part of the Economic Opportunity Fellows Network, a network of leadership and fellowship programs run by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. Within this Network, EOP connects national and local leaders from across sectors — nonprofit, government, business, philanthropy, academia, and more — to advance policies and practices with the potential to help low- and moderate-income Americans thrive in today’s economy. Learn more at

Authored by Sekou