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Bertrand Damiba, winner of the 2024 Rodney Adkins Legacy Award, worked at IBM and various tech startups before joining Google. He has held product management roles at Google focused on language and technology, media, and communications. (Photo courtesy of Google)

Recently, he founded the Product Inclusion Team and is currently the director of communications and core user experience for Gmail Workspace.

During the 2024 BEYA gala, a pre-recorded video showed the new dad’s gratitude for the award. He also reflected on the significance of legacies and mentioned the legacies of all those who paved the way for him to achieve his dreams.

“My parents always challenged me intellectually,” Damiba said. “I also think of the countless Black doctors, engineers, and scientists in the diaspora who have inspired me,” he added. “I’ve had the honor of helping shape technologies used by millions of users. I hope part of my legacy is that these were good decisions.”

Damiba acknowledged that his presence in rooms where important decisions are made is rare and hopes his presence can inspire others, regardless of their background or appearance. Damiba also hoped that no one would allow assumptions about them to limit their mission.

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