Friday, November 7, 2014

Executive Leadership Foundation Honors Diversity Leaders for Commitment to Black Leadership and Achievement

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Executive Leadership Foundation gala honorees: Debra L. Lee, chairman and CEO, BET Networks; Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton;
and Rachel Robinson, founder of The Jackie Robinson Foundation

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The Executive Leadership Foundation (ELF), the charitable arm of The Executive Leadership Council, hosted its annual gala on October 30 that honored diversity leaders for their commitment to Black leadership and achievement, and featured the announcement of grant awards to innovative nonprofits to improve the educational outcomes of Black students.

Highlighting the importance of diversity on the global stage, The ELF 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.”

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.

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.

Also honored were 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.

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.

Sponsors included Cisco (lead gala sponsor); Prudential (pre- and post-gala sponsor); Morgan Stanley and Shell (supporting gala sponsors); Alcoa, Chevron, Nationwide and U.S. Bank (contributing sponsors); and Voya (partner gala sponsor).

The Executive Leadership Council 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. For more information, please visit

Source: Press release

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