TOP50 Most Influential Diversity and Inclusion Stars


Individuals and their organizations do not pay a fee for placement on the list, which is independently determined by the's editorial team   

TOP50 Diversity Stars (1-10)



Deirdre O’Brien is Apple’s senior vice president of Retail + People, reporting to CEO Tim Cook. As the leader of Apple’s retail and online teams, Deirdre supports their work to enrich the lives of millions of Apple customers every year. With a laser focus on the connection between customers and the people and processes that serve them, Deirdre and her team create retail experiences that educate and inspire.

In her role leading the People team, Deirdre works to help Apple connect, develop and care for its employees — and to help those employees do the best work of their lives. Her teams oversee a broad range of functions including talent development and Apple University, recruiting, employee relations and experience, business partnership, benefits, compensation, and inclusion and diversity.

A 30-year Apple veteran, Deirdre holds a bachelor’s degree in Operations Management from Michigan State University and an MBA from San Jose State University.





Wendy Lewis is responsible for guiding McDonald’s Global Diversity and Inclusion efforts across all McDonald’s Corporation business functions to enrich the organization’s history and culture of opportunity, growth and economic impact within diverse communities and strategic partnerships. Her primary focus is to direct the “Diversity IS Inclusion” business strategy as the value proposition for total employee engagement for business results.   She is also responsible for creating innovative and measurable strategic alliances with internal and external stakeholders and partners as well as support the pipeline development of diverse and inclusive representation within the workforce.

A major development of her “Diversity IS Inclusion” business strategy is to execute the development, design and facilitation of a modern and progressive education platform that builds culturally intelligent leaders and grows McDonalds’ brand purpose, “Making delicious feel good moments easy for everyone.”

Wendy holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh and an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.




Shortly after David Kenny was appointed Chief Executive Officer at Nielsen in November 2018, he also took on the additional role as Chief Diversity Officer.

Kenny has spent his career in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, especially focused on the retail, marketing, and media industries. He has a deep and holistic understanding of media and advertisers and how best to serve them, and he has been a long time Nielsen customer and partner. Kenny has a proven track record of implementing growth strategies, overseeing strategic transactions and creating value for stakeholders.

Most recently, Kenny served as Senior Vice President of Cognitive Solutions at IBM. There, he oversaw IBM’s artificial intelligence initiatives, using machine learning to support enterprise customers across a large number of verticals, including healthcare, financial services, retail, and media. Prior to that, he was Chairman and Chief Executive of The Weather Company, which was acquired by IBM.

David received his bachelor’s degree in industrial administration from the GM Institute (now Kettering University) and holds a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

LinkedIn    Twitter 



Bo Young Lee leads Uber’s diversity and inclusion efforts in the company, with our stakeholders, and in the communities where we operate. Bo partners with senior leadership, including CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, to build a work culture where radically diverse and inclusive teams drive innovation, accelerate growth, and build a work culture and systems where all employees have the opportunity to excel and grow to their highest potential.

Prior to joining Uber, Bo was the first Global Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the Risk and Insurance Services businesses for Marsh and McLennan Companies. Bo also launched and led Aon/Hewitt Associates’ Global Emerging Workforce Solutions consulting practice and held diversity leadership roles at Ernst & Young and National Grid. Bo served as a Director of Advisory Services at Catalyst, the leading nonprofit focused on the advancement of women in business. As a consultant and thought leader, Bo has enabled dozens of clients to achieve their diversity and inclusion goals. Past clients include Marriott International, Northern Trust, John Deere, Allstate, Booz & Co., Discover, Aon, Human Rights Campaign, and McKesson. Bo has an MBA with distinction from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a BBA magna cum laude from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

LinkedIn    Twitter



Tamika Curry Smith is Nike’s VP, Global Diversity & Inclusion. She is responsible for leading a global team across brands, and helping to advance Nike's D&I strategy. Tamika joined Nike from Mercedes-Benz USA, where she led Diversity & Inclusion — developing and spearheading a holistic strategy across the company’s workforce and marketplace.

Tamika brings a breadth of experience to this role. Over the course of her career, she has worked with global companies, nonprofits, academia and the public sector; she designed and implemented D&I strategies to increase awareness and communication, improve representation and retention, and drive accountability. She has also held senior leadership positions with Target Corporation as Director of Diversity, and Deloitte Consulting as Americas Director of Diversity Programs. Tamika holds a BBA in Accounting from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and an MBA in Organizational Behavior, Strategy and Marketing from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Tamika is an avid sports fan who especially loves cheering on her Wolverines. She enjoys working out, reading and getting as many stamps on her passport as possible. Tamika is also dedicated to giving back to the community and has served on a number of nonprofit boards focused on young people, education and D&I.

LinkedIn     Twitter    



James in an experienced Human Resources Director with a demonstrated track record of success working in the complex global consumer goods environment. Skilled in People Management, Relationship Building, Enterprise-Wide Influence, Performance Management, and Leadership. 

As the Sr Director, Global Inclusion (CDO) at General Mills, James is responsible for enterprise-wide Global D&I strategy in partnership with the Executive Management Team. 

James holds an MBA in Human Resources from Purdue University - Krannert School of Management and a BA in Organizational Behavior from Xavier University.

LinkedIn     Twitter     



Cynthia H. Bowman is Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Bank of America. In this role, she serves as the chief strategist for diversity and inclusion globally, focused on leading programs, initiatives and policies that actively support the bank’s diverse and inclusive workplace – in thought, style, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, culture and experience. As part of her role, Cynthia serves on the bank's Global Diversity & Inclusion Council, comprised of senior leaders from across the company responsible for keeping diversity and inclusion at the forefront for managers throughout the company. She leads the company’s global diversity and inclusion organization (GDIO), which supports enterprise-wide diversity initiatives, diversity and inclusion learning, strategic partner management and sponsorships, diversity awards and recognition, and diversity metrics and data reporting. The GDIO also provides strategic oversight to the bank’s 11 Employee Networks, made up of nearly 80,000 memberships and allies around the globe.

Cynthia graduated from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management with an MBA in Organization Behavior and Operations. She also has a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science from Spelman College. Cynthia is married and the mother of four children.

LinkedIn     Twitter    



Elizabeth is the current Head of Global Diversity and Inclusion at Amazon. Prior to this, she served as the Global Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at MetLife, where she also led the company’s talent processes. Before joining MetLife, Elizabeth was the Global Head of Talent, Learning, and Diversity for Marsh, Inc. Elizabeth spent almost 20 years with Citigroup in global talent management, diversity, and inclusion roles, and as an HR business partner. Previously, she managed global and regional learning organizations working extensively in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Early in her career, she worked at Andersen Consulting in the change management practice in the US and Latin America.

In 2014, she was named one of the Top Champions of Diversity by Diversity Global and recognized as one of the 2014 Hispanic Business 50 Influentials by Hispanic Business. In 2016, she was honored by the All Stars Project for her contributions to the development of underserved youth. Elizabeth has an MA from the University of Buenos Aires. Born and raised in Argentina, Elizabeth served as a Board Member for Girls Learn International and is currently a Board Member at A Fair Shake for Youth. She joined the OppNet Board of Directors in 2012.

LinkedIn     Facebook



Lori George Billingsley has 30 years of public relations experience in developing and implementing breakthrough programs that meet organizational goals, target audience needs and produce results. Currently, she is the Vice President of Community Relations for Coca-Cola North America where she oversees community giving, engagement and volunteerism.


She has led her own public relations consultancy, held positions in a global public relations agency and the District of Columbia Government. Lori has also served as professor, instructor and lecturer at two Ohio-based colleges, as well as her alma mater, Howard University. 

Lori received her Bachelor of Arts in public relations at Howard University and her Master of Arts in public communications at American University, both in Washington, D.C.  Lori also is an ordained minister. Lori lives in Decatur with her husband, Bishop Jeffrey Billingsley. She enjoys regular spa treatments and traveling to sunny beaches.

LinkedIn     Twitter    Facebook



Latondra Newton was named Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer of The Walt Disney Company in February 2017. She leads the company’s strategic diversity and inclusion initiatives, which help Disney and its employees around the world tell stories that entertain, enlighten and inspire. She partners with all the company’s segments and leaders to build on Disney’s commitment to produce entertainment that reflects a global audience and sustain a welcoming and inclusive workplace for everyone.

The company’s ongoing commitment to inclusion is central to its culture. Every one of the company’s 195,000 employees has a unique story that contributes to Disney’s ability to create moments, memories and magic that last a lifetime.

Latondra has been recognized as a leader in diversity and inclusion and business during her career. In 2014 Linkage’s Women in Leadership Institute gave her its “Passionate Champion Award”. Latondra also has spoken at the Aspen Ideas Festival and the Shared Value Leadership Summit and she is a member of the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Leadership Forum.

She is a passionate advocate for inclusion and has worked directly with young women to support their educational goals, including supporting them in earning college degrees. Newton holds a bachelor’s degree in management systems from Kettering University.

LinkedIn     Twitter