Mellody Hobson

Co-CEO and President, Ariel Investments; and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Ariel Investment Trusts
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Mellody Hobson

As co-CEO of Ariel Investments, Mellody is responsible for management, strategic planning, and growth for all areas of the company outside of research and portfolio management. Additionally, she serves as chair of the Board of Trustees of the Ariel Investment Trust—the company’s publicly traded mutual funds. Prior to being named co-CEO, Mellody spent nearly two decades as the firm’s president. Outside of Ariel, Mellody is a nationally recognized voice on financial literacy. Her leadership has also been invaluable to corporate boardrooms across the nation. She currently serves as chair of the Board of Starbucks Corporation and as a director of JPMorgan Chase. She previously served as chair of the Board of DreamWorks Animation until the company’s sale and was also a long-standing board member of the Estée Lauder Companies. Mellody’s community outreach includes her role as chair of After School Matters, a Chicago nonprofit that provides area teens with high-quality after school and summer programs. Additionally, she is vice chair of World Business Chicago, co-chair of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, and a board member of the George Lucas Education Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Center for Strategic and International Studies and of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Mellody is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Rockefeller Foundation Board of Trustees, and serves on the executive committee of the Investment Company Institute. Mellody earned her A.B. from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations and Public Policy. In 2019, she was awarded the University’s highest honor, the Woodrow Wilson Award, presented annually to a Princeton graduate whose career embodies a commitment to national service. She has also received honorary doctorate degrees from Howard University, Johns Hopkins University, St. Mary’s College, and the University of Southern California. In 2015, Time Magazine named her one of the “100 Most Influential People” in the world.