Press Releases / January 8, 2020

The Executive Leadership Council Names Crystal E. Ashby as Interim President and CEO

WASHINGTON, DC (January 8, 2020) – The Executive Leadership Council (ELC) today announced that its board of directors selected Crystal E. Ashby to serve as The ELC’s interim president and chief executive officer.  Ashby succeeds Skip Spriggs who served as president and chief executive officer since March 2018 and retired at the end of 2019.  She is the first woman president and CEO of the organization and traces her association with The ELC to her participation in the first class of The ELC’s Strengthening the Pipeline leadership development program.

Ms. Ashby is an accomplished senior executive, board member and lawyer with more than 33 years of leadership success, significantly in the energy sector. She was most recently vice chair of The ELC. Her corporate leadership experience was gained over a twenty-two-year career with BP where her roles spanned government and external affairs, law, compliance and ethics, university relations and retail.

“Having experienced The ELC’s leadership development programs early in her career, benefiting from the mentoring and sponsorship provided by senior leaders of The ELC and rising through the ranks of corporate leadership to become an active member of the organization, Crystal embodies the values and culture of The ELC,” said Tonie Leatherberry, chair of The Executive Leadership Council and Principal, Deloitte & Touche LLP, and President of the Deloitte Foundation. “She has served The ELC as Chair of the Audit Committee, was an ex-officio member of the Governance Committee, was formerly Co-Chair of the Membership Committee, and was a past voting member of the Governance Committee. Crystal will guide the organization with a steady hand through its transition.”

Ms. Ashby will lead the organization’s efforts to increase the number of global black executives in C-Suites, on corporate boards, and in global enterprises. The ELC is the preeminent membership organization for black CEOs, board directors, and the most senior black executives at Fortune 1000, Global 500 and equivalent companies and opens channels of opportunity for the development of black executives to positively impact business and communities.

“My association with The ELC goes back more years than I would like to admit,” says Ashby. “I have such a strong affinity for this organization, our members, and its purpose and mission. I am honored to have this opportunity to help The ELC pursue its Strategic Vision 2021 and commitment to excellence, particularly as we look towards our 35th anniversary in 2021.”

Ms. Ashby is an Independent Director on the Board of Texas RE (Texas Reliability Entity, Inc.) and serves on the University of Michigan College of Engineering Dean’s Leadership Advisory Board, where she is Chair of the Diversity and Equity and Inclusion Council. She is an NACD Fellow and member of the International Women’s Forum. Ms. Ashby recently resigned from the National Board of Genesys Works, the Holocaust Museum Houston Board and Women Business Collaborative (WBC) Board upon assuming her new role at The ELC.

Ms. Ashby earned her Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, with a double major in English and Psychology, from the University of Michigan.

The Executive Leadership Council is going beyond its mission to embrace its purpose:  to open channels of opportunity for Black executives to positively impact business and communities. The ELC’s strategic vision is the culmination of months of effort by many stakeholders to build on its more than three decades of success and prepare for shifts in the economy, business and society. The ELC’s primary focus will always be to nurture and amplify Black excellence and leadership in business. At the same time, The ELC is expanding its support and impact on Black communities through philanthropic initiatives, engaging partners to promote financial literacy, and conducting forums to grow the number of Black entrepreneurs and businesses. The ELC is eager to see significant progress toward increasing Black business success.

The board will launch a search for a permanent CEO during Q1 of this year.

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About The Executive Leadership Council:

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, 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

For media inquiries, contact:

Libi Rice, The Executive Leadership Council, (202) 655-2926,