Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Other Diversity Leaders Honored For Their Commitment to Black Leadership and Achievement

Publications/News & Insights/Press Release/Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Other Diversity Leaders Honored For Their Commitment to Black Leadership and Achievement

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Oct. 30, 2014—Highlighting the importance of diversity on the global stage, The Executive Leadership Foundation honored Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for her lifetime commitment to inclusive policies and leadership.

In presenting the award, Carla Harris, chair, The Executive Leadership Council, said, “Hillary Clinton remains committed to making the American Dream an American reality. The Secretary’s personal story represents a daily reminder to future generations that through educational excellence, intellectual curiosity and commitment to task, all is possible.”

The ELF is the charitable arm of The Executive Leadership Council, which represents senior black executives at Fortune 1000, Global 500 and equivalent companies and is focused on increasing the number of global black executives in corporate suites, on corporate boards and in global enterprises.

Clinton served as Secretary of State after nearly four decades in public service as an advocate, attorney, First Lady, and Senator. As First Lady, she advocated for health care reform and led successful bipartisan efforts to improve the adoption and foster care systems, reduce teen pregnancy, establish Early Head Start and provide health care to millions of children through the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

In 2000, Clinton made history as the first First Lady elected to the United States Senate. She worked across party lines to expand economic opportunity and access to quality, affordable health care, including for wounded service members, veterans and members of the National Guard and Reserves. After September 11, 2001, she advocated for rebuilding New York and addressing the health needs of first responders who risked their lives at Ground Zero.

In her four years as Secretary of State, Clinton played a central role in restoring America’s standing in the world and strengthening its global leadership. Her “smart power” approach to foreign policy elevated American diplomacy and development and repositioned them for the 21st century — with new tools, technologies, and partners, including the private sector and civil society around the world. As America’s chief diplomat and President Obama’s principal foreign policy adviser, Clinton spearheaded progress on many of our greatest national security challenges, from reasserting the United States as a Pacific power to imposing crippling sanctions

on Iran and North Korea to responding to the challenges and opportunities of the Arab Awakening to negotiating a ceasefire in the Middle East. She pushed the frontiers of human rights and demonstrated that giving women the opportunity to participate fully is vital to security, stability and prosperity.

Today, through the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, Clinton continues to build on the nonprofit work she began nearly four decades ago. The Clinton Foundation works to improve global health, strengthen economies, promote health and wellness, and protect the environment by creating partnerships of great purpose among businesses, governments, nongovernmental organizations, and individuals to deliver sustainable solutions that empower people to live better lives.

The ELF also honored:

  • Rachel Robinson, civil rights activist and founder of The Jackie Robinson Foundation, who received the Alvaro L. Martins Heritage Award that honors the legacy of global black business leadership
  • Debra L. Lee, chairman and CEO, BET Networks, who received The Achievement Award that honors global black business achievement; and
  • AT&T Inc. which received The Corporate Award that recognizes achievement at the highest level in creating policies and enlivening practices that promote black executives and their contributions. Randall L. Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO, accepted the award on behalf of the company.

In keeping with the gala theme of “Going All IN: INsight, INnovation, Inspiration,” The ELF announced the recipients of its Community Impact Initiative, which provides financial contributions to select organizations and partners with them to improve the educational outcomes of black students, thereby preparing the next generation of black business leaders.

This year, the National Society of Black Engineers and Management Leadership for Tomorrow will share a grant of $450,000 over two years.

NSBE is one of the nation’s largest student-governed organizations, with more than 31,000 members in the U.S. and abroad. NSBE’s membership ranges from middle school and high school students to college students and technical professionals, all engaged in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, industry or advocacy.

MLT provides the coaching, hard and soft skills, and door-opening relationships that transform high potential minorities into high-impact leaders. Its Ascend program increases graduation rates and career preparation for first-generation minority college students. This year, Ascend will provide 150 college freshman with one-on-one coaching, a college success roadmap, skill development workshops and a peer support network.

To date, the Community Impact Initiative has contributed approximately $1.2 million to select nonprofits.

The gala also highlighted the foundation’s scholarship programs that reach 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students through The ELF pipeline programs and educational initiatives.

Well-known names were part of the celebration. Grammy award winning singer Brandy performed as did “America’s Got Talent” singer Quintavious Johnson. “Entertainment Tonight” co-anchor Kevin Frazier delivered remarks and recording artist Doug E. Fresh provided post-gala entertainment.

The lead gala sponsor is Cisco; Prudential is pre- and post-gala sponsor; Morgan Stanley and Shell are supporting gala sponsors; contributing gala sponsors are Alcoa, Chevron, Nationwide and U.S. Bank; and the partner gala sponsor is Voya.


The Executive Leadership Council, an independent non-profit 501(c)(6) corporation founded in 1986, is the pre-eminent membership organization committed to increasing the number of global black executives in C-Suites, on corporate boards and in global enterprises. Comprised of more than 500 current and former black CEOs, board members and senior executives at Fortune 500 companies and equivalents, 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


Adam Shapiro


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