The Executive Leadership Council to Honor Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO and President of Ariel Investments and Chair of Ariel Investment Trust, with 2023 ELC Achievement Award

Publications/News & Insights/Press Release/The Executive Leadership Council to Honor Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO and President of Ariel Investments and Chair of Ariel Investment Trust, with 2023 ELC Achievement Award

WASHINGTONSept. 12, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Executive Leadership Council (ELC), the preeminent global membership organization for Black CEOs, senior executives, corporate board directors , top-tier entrepreneurs, and global thought leaders, announced today it will honor Mellody Hobson, co-CEO and President of Ariel Investments and Chair of Ariel Investment Trust, with the 2023 ELC Achievement Award during its 37th Anniversary Recognition Gala. The event will take place on Thursday, October 5, 2023 at 6:00 PM ET, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, 201 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, Maryland.

The Achievement Award is presented to Black corporate executives whose business career achievements highlight personal and professional excellence.


“Mellody’s commitment, vision and compassion are attributes that The ELC works every day to instill in its scholars and future generations of Black executives,” said ELC President and CEO Michael C. Hyter. “Her exceptional achievements are unparalleled and serve as a beacon to women in business and industry. The ELC is honored to recognize Mellody for her outstanding contributions and shining leadership and vision throughout the years.”

In her role at Ariel Investments, Hobson is responsible for management, strategic planning and growth for all areas of the company exclusive of research and portfolio management. In 2021, she co-founded Ariel Alternatives, a private equity firm and home to Ariel’s Project Black Fund. The $1.45 billion fund is focused on creating minority-owned businesses of scale, and seeking to provide Fortune 500 companies with diverse vendors.

“The mission of The ELC and its members to develop our future leaders and help them reach their highest potential is tantamount to changing the Black experience in corporate America,” Hobson said. “I am pleased to receive this recognition. The mission of The ELC dovetails with my personal mission to close the wealth gap from the entry level to the boardroom.”

Outside of her work with Ariel, Hobson serves on various boards in both a professional and philanthropic capacity, including Chairwoman of the Board of Starbucks Corporation and as a director of JPMorgan Chase. Previously, she served as Chairman of DreamWorks Animation, helping to facilitate the company’s sale in 2016 and was a long-standing board member of the Estée Lauder Companies.

In her philanthropic endeavors, Hobson is a nationally recognized voice on financial literacy and is a committed advocate for education and the arts. As part of her community outreach she serves as chairman of After School Matters, a Chicago non-profit that provides area teens with high-quality after school and summer programs; 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 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Mellody is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, The Rockefeller Foundation Board of Trustees, and serves on the executive committee of the Investment Company Institute.

Hobson’s career spans more than three decades, beginning at Ariel Investments with a summer internship, then a full-time role after she graduated from Princeton in 1991. Ariel founder, John W. Rogers, Jr. met Hobson as a student and recognized her charisma and enthusiasm, leading to a long partnership. In 2019, she was appointed Co-CEO of Ariel alongside Rogers. Hobson has received recognition from dozens of organizations including being named to TIME Magazine’s 2015 TIME 100 List and one of the World Economic Forum’s “Global Leaders of Tomorrow” in 2001.

The ELC 37th Anniversary Recognition Gala is the organization’s most important annual fundraising event, supporting its scholarships, educational outreach and philanthropic initiatives and recognizing its mission, purpose and impact in action. This year’s gala highlights business achievement, honors corporate and individual award recipients, and delivers $2.8 million in scholarships to ELC scholarship program awardees. Google and The Coca-Cola Company will serve as the Co-Lead Sponsors of the 2023 Gala.

The Executive Leadership Council opens channels of opportunity for the development of Black executives to positively impact business and our communities. An independent non-profit 501(c)(3) founded in 1986, The ELC 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. Comprising more than 800 current and former Black CEOs, senior executives and board directors at Fortune 1000 and Global 500 companies and entrepreneurs at top-tier firms, the organization works 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

Engage during the event on social media: #ELCGALA on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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