Program Director, Design and Construction Diversity & Inclusion, Supplier Diversity
Indiana University Health

President & Founder
The Darden Group, LLC

Akilah W. Darden is the Program Director – Diversity and Inclusion, Supplier Diversity for Indiana University Health Design & Construction. IU Health has a goal of almost $1B in diverse spend on state-wide projects within the next 6 years. She is creating and overseeing policies, standards of work, strategies, training, and resource management for all things around diversity and inclusion within Design & Construction. In 2020, Akilah founded The Darden Group, LLC, an award-winning Executive Construction Management company assisting leadership teams in strategy, process, and management of large complex commercial projects. With over 23 years of management experience, Akilah has managed nearly $2B in commercial construction projects located in Washington, DC, Virginia, Maryland, Indiana, Washington, and Arkansas. The Darden Group has received numerous awards and has been featured in over 110 news affiliates including the American Reporter, MarketWatch, Fox News, NBC news, and the Indianapolis Recorder. Yahoo! Finance just named Akilah one of the Top 10 Most Powerful Women of 2021; Chicago Journal named her Top 20 Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2020; and US Insider named Akilah Top 20 Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2021. Akilah is a proud wife and mother of four children. The Darden kids inspired her newly pre-released book My Mom is a Construction Manager, now on Amazon and on


Jul 28

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Lunch and Keynote – When You See Me, See Me: How to Build With and For Communities

11:30am – 12:35pm

Akilah W. Darden, Program Director, Design and Construction Diversity & Inclusion, Supplier Diversity, Indiana University Health & The Darden Group, LLC, and President & Founder, The Darden Group, LLC