Title: Director of Corporate Social Responsibility
In his role at Curaleaf, Raheem Uqdah likes to say he “gets to sit at the intersection of a lot of things inside of our company” and think about “some of the big picture questions inside of cannabis.” As director of corporate social responsibility, Uqdah oversees diversity, equity, inclusion, social equity and environmental sustainability for the company.
“It’s diverse. I have no day that looks alike,” he says. “I’m privileged to get to think about how we address those questions and how purely resources can be used to solve a lot of those problems and challenges.”
Originally from Ohio, Uqdah went to Columbia College Chicago where he got a degree in design and began to think about “how to apply design thinking to social movements.” When the opportunity arose to work in cannabis — an industry “actively pushing against policy norms” — he jumped at it.
“It’s the bleeding edge of social politics and reforming how people relate to each other and view each other,” he says.
Uqdah says so far he is most proud of the “Feed the Block” program, a fundraising initiative through which Curaleaf matched customer donations to food programs in the 23 states in which it has operations.
“My hope is that we can take the learnings from Curaleaf and try to figure out some best practices that we can hopefully share with the wider community,” he says. “My own journey has taught me that you can continuously iterate to create the change that you want to see in the world. And I’m excited for where we’re going in the industry.”