Evelyn Gallego, Founder & CEO – EMI Advisors
Alumna: York University’s Schulich School of Business (MBA, 2005), George Washington University (Masters of public health – health policy, 2010) and University of Toronto (BS, Human Biology & Psychology, 1997)
A study of Evelyn Gallego’s life reveals contrasts. She has Colombian origins but grew up in Canada, where the Hispanic population is small. She wanted to be an artist at a young age but later discovered interests in technology, business, and health care. She majored in Human Biology & Psychology with a minor in Art and considered careers as a physician or a medical illustrator. At her core is an enthusiasm for health care, which has remained consistent throughout her extensive education and professional life. It has also been important to her personal life – she ran half-marathons before having children, and last year she and her husband ran their first marathon. Now, as the founder and CEO of a certified minority- and woman-owned consulting firm, Evelyn uses all her varied talents to offer policy, strategy and technology advisory solutions to healthcare clients.
A first generation Canadian
My parents are both from Colombia, and they moved to Canada before I was born to start a new life for their children. Growing up in Toronto, I was exposed to other cultures – there are large Indian and Chinese populations, for example, where education is emphasized. My father is one of 16 children, and my mother is one of six. Neither of my parents received higher education. On my mother’s side, I am the first female to go to university. In my experience as first-generation from an immigrant family, Hispanic culture has not always stressed education. Women are often encouraged to pursue careers that allow them to stay close to home. My parents never made me feel that they would be disappointed if I didn’t pursue higher education, but I was very driven to do so because I wanted something better. As an undergrad and MBA student, I joined the Latino-focused science and business groups not only because the fields of study were important to me, but also because I wanted to encourage more Hispanic women to pursue these fields.
Steps to rise »
Early years: Wanting something better
Evelyn’s parents moved from Colombia to Canada to give their children a better life. As a first generation Canadian, Evelyn was driven to succeed.
First job: Discovering an interest in IT
Despite studying medicine and art as an undergrad, Evelyn developed a career-long interest in technology after landing a job in telecom.
Pivotal moments: MBA and MPH
After getting her MBA, Evelyn worked for large consulting firms in the healthcare sector. She decided to pursue a masters in health policy to set herself apart from the multi-degreed crowd in DC.
Entrepreneurship: Using technology to improve the delivery and cost of care
With a certified minority- and woman-owned consulting business, Evelyn provides strategic solutions to her federal agency and private healthcare clients with a goal of leveraging technology to improve healthcare outcomes.