Governance Committee Chair
Mellody Hobson is president of Ariel Investments. Headquartered in Chicago, the firm offers six no-load mutual funds for individual investors and defined contribution plans as well as separately managed accounts for institutions and high net worth individuals. As president, Mellody is responsible for firm-wide management and strategic planning, overseeing all operations outside of research and portfolio management. Additionally, she serves as chairman of the board of trustees for the mutual funds. She joined Ariel in 1991 after graduating from Princeton University where she received her AB degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations and Public Policy.
Mellody has become a nationally recognized voice on financial literacy and investor education. She is a regular financial contributor on “Good Morning America,” and a frequent guest on ABC’s World News Tonight. In 2009 she served as executive producer and host of an ABC prime-time special, “Unbroke: What You Need to Know about Money.” Mellody is also a weekly finance expert on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and a regular columnist for Black Enterprise. She has been quoted and profiled in a number of publications including: Essence, Fortune, Money, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal among many others.
Beyond her work in finance and investor education, Mellody is actively involved with a variety of civic and professional institutions. Her community outreach includes serving as chairman of After School Matters, a non-profit that provides Chicago teens with high quality, out-of-school time programs. Additionally, she is a board member of The Field Museum, Lucas Cultural Arts Museum, The Sundance Institute and is on the board of governors of the Investment Company Institute. Mellody is chairman of the board for DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. as well as a director of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., Groupon, Inc., and Starbucks Corporation. Mellody is also a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, the Commercial Club of Chicago, the Young President’s Organization (YPO) and is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. Additionally, in 2010, she received an honorary doctorate degree in humanities from Howard University. She is a former member of the Princeton University Board of Trustees.