David Coulibaly currently serves as the Director of Community Services in the Office of the Bronx Borough President. Coulibaly assumed the role in June 2022, serving under the leadership of Vanessa L. Gibson. Born and raised in the Ivory Coast, Coulibaly is the first African immigrant to assume that position.
Being the Director of Community Service comes with great responsibility. Coulibaly is the leader of his department and has to ensure it functions well on a daily basis. He has to ensure residents of the Bronx and the borough’s various stakeholders are catered to, supported, and have their voices heard. Coulibaly creates and maintains partnerships with stakeholders in the borough, city, and state as a whole. This includes overseeing the several Advisory Councils that function within the Office of the Bronx Borough President, which includes the African Advisory Council. In an exclusive interview with LittleAfrica News, he said, “On a day-to-day basis, I do a lot of work. If I am not with the Borough President, I’ll be in the community, representing the Borough President at events, sometimes speaking on behalf of her.”
Coulibaly’s professional record in New York City is impressive. He has served the city of New York in a number of various roles. In 2020, Coulibaly played a significant role in the fight against COVID-19. He worked as a COVID-19 and Census 2020 Program Manager for African Communities Together. In that role, he led a team of eight outreach workers who provided assistance in communities experiencing the effects of COVID-19. Later that year, he worked for COVID-19 Test and Trace under NYC Health and Hospitals. In this role, he would carry out a lot of work relating to the testing and tracing of COVID-19 cases in New York City. Coulibaly was also the Bronx Outreach Campaign Director, representing the community in many spheres.
There are many roles and positions Coulibaly has filled, be it in Abidjan, Bamako, or New York, but he insists that he always puts his best foot forward. His commitment to doing well and lending a hand to his community is what led to him receiving Citations of Merit from elected officials as an upstanding community leader.
Coulibaly was born on the Ivory Coast. He arrived in the US in 2012 at the age of 29. Coulibaly has played an active role in New York City’s community, especially in the Bronx. A grassroots activist, he is always on the ground, hearing from the people directly affected by daily issues. “I’m a grassroots organizer, I put people first,” he said in the interview with LittleAfrica News. As an immigrant from the Ivory Coast, Coulibaly is fluent in French, meaning he can serve as a translator for those French-speaking migrants who cannot speak or understand English. In the immigration courts of New York and New Jersey, Coulibaly occasionally serves as a pro bono translator for asylum seekers and refugees. Coulibaly found himself in the midst of the asylum-seeker crisis offering services and help to those in need. “What I was able to do was create a coalition of community leaders to respond to this need,” he said, referring to getting the hands of the community together and helping with the crisis. Coulibaly said while the majority of the media projected the perception that the asylum seekers were from Venezuela or other South American countries, he made sure he assisted the Africans who were left behind and not catered for.
Coulibaly is a well-educated man, having completed qualifications in English and Linguistics at the University of Abidjan in the Ivory Coast in 2007. In 2014, Coulibaly graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in American Urban Studies from the Metropolitan College of New York. Coulibaly received a Master’s degree in Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He also spent some time participating in a program that earned him a diploma in Humanitarian Assistance. While the program was held at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, the diploma was granted by the Liverpool School of Medicine. In 2020, Coulibaly filled the shoes of an educator when he served as an Adjunct Professor at Pace University. He was responsible for teaching students about theories related to Peace and Justice. Coulibaly’s combination of experience and a varied education makes him a capable person to fulfill his duties in his current position.
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