Executive Leadership Council Statement on the Historic Appointment of Thasunda Brown Duckett as TIAA CEO

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WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 26, 2021 – The Executive Leadership Council has released the following statements today regarding the appointment of Thasunda Brown Duckett as TIAA CEO.

“On behalf of our more than 800 members, including our nearly 350 Black women executives, it is my great honor to congratulate ELC member Thasunda Brown Duckett on her historic appointment as CEO of TIAA. The Executive Leadership Council (ELC) commends TIAA’s inspired selection of a Black woman as its next CEO, who will succeed Roger Ferguson, who is also an ELC member. Ms. Duckett raises the bar for companies by illustrating the remarkably high caliber of diverse executives qualified to serve as CEO. The ELC and our members proudly applaud Ms. Duckett and her accomplishment.”

– Crystal E. Ashby, Interim President and CEO

Ms. Duckett will become the third permanent Black woman CEO in the history of the Fortune 500 following Rosalind Brewer’s appointment to CEO of Walgreens this January. Ms.Duckett’s appointment restores the number of Black Fortune 500 CEOs to four, following the pending retirement of Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, effective June 30, 2021. Her counterparts are: Brewer, ELC Member Marvin Ellison of Lowe’s and Rene Jones of M&T Bank.

“As a leading voice in the banking industry to close the wealth gap between white and Black Americans, Ms. Duckett’s continued success in her prior role, where her efforts resulted in significant business growth for the organization, brings her to this moment where she will lead an entire Fortune 500 organization. She demonstrates that when afforded the opportunity, Black women can and will lead at the highest levels. The ELC is proud to have Ms. Duckett as our member.”

– Michael C. Hyter, Incoming President and CEO, effective Monday, March 1.


Libi Rice, The Executive Leadership Council

Thomas Dima, UWG



The Executive Leadership Council, an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation founded in 1986, is the preeminent membership organization committed to increasing the number of global Black executives in C-Suites, on corporate boards, and in global enterprises. Comprising 800 current and former Black CEOs, senior executives, and board directors at Fortune 1000 and Global 500 companies, and entrepreneurs at top-tier firms, its members work to build an inclusive business leadership pipeline that empowers global Black leaders to make impactful contributions to the marketplace and the global communities they serve. For more information, please visit www.elcinfo.com.

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