Press Releases / August 8, 2016

The Executive Leadership Council Celebrates 30 Years with One Million Dollar Gift to Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Alexandria, VA (August 8, 2016) – The Executive Leadership Council (ELC), the pre-eminent organization of current and former black CEOs, senior executives, top-tier entrepreneurs, global thought leaders and board members of Fortune 1000 and equivalent companies, has given a donation of $1 million to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). The donation was made in commemoration of The ELC’s 30th Anniversary this year.

“The Executive Leadership Council has been at the forefront of advocating for black leadership in business and we welcome the participation and support of the organization and its members,” said Lonnie G. Bunch III, director of the museum.

The ELC is committed to increasing the number of global black executives in C-Suites, on corporate boards and in global enterprises. The organization’s mission is to increase the number of successful black executives, domestically and internationally, by adding value to their development, leadership and philanthropic endeavors, thereby strengthening their companies, organizations and communities across the lifecycle of their careers. Through its Institute for Leadership Development & Research it conducts more than a half dozen programs to develop the pipeline of global black leaders, including Leadership Development Week and the Mid-Level Managers’ Symposium, while also aiming to further prepare senior leaders through the CEO and C-Suite Academies. The Institute also tracks the progress of blacks in leadership positions through its research initiatives.

“Over the past 30 years, members of The ELC have made significant contributions to strengthening and advancing the roles of black global business executives in Fortune 1000 and Global 500 companies,” said Ronald C. Parker, president and CEO of The Executive Leadership Council. “It is fitting that we devote some of our resources to support an institution that documents and displays the full African American experience, from slavery to the C-Suites and Board Rooms of America. We are proud to support this exceptional tribute to our past, present and future as African Americans.”

In its 30th year, The ELC is also awarding the largest number of scholarships the organization has ever given in a calendar year to black students attending the nation’s top colleges and universities. The mission of The ELC’s Scholarship Programs is to build a pipeline of black corporate talent by supporting the academic achievement and development of black undergraduate and graduate students.

The NMAAHC is scheduled to open to the public on September 24 and will be a place where visitors from all over the world will learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience, what it means to their lives and how black people have influenced and strengthened the United States of America.

About The Executive Leadership Council:
The Executive Leadership Council, an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) 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 600 current and former black CEOs, thought leaders, board members and senior executives at Fortune 1000 companies and equivalents, 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

About the Museum:
The National Museum of African American History and Culture was established by an Act of Congress through legislation signed into law in 2003 by President George W. Bush. The nearly 400,000-square-foot museum is under construction on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on a five-acre tract adjacent to the Washington Monument. Upon completion in September 2016, the museum will become the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural institution devoted exclusively to exploring and documenting the African American story and its impact on American history. For more information, visit the museum’s website at