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 DiversityStars.com’s editorial team
TOP50 Diversity Stars (41-50)
Michelle Gadsden-Williams is the Managing Director, Inclusion & Diversity Lead – North America at Accenture. Previously, she was the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Ceiling Breakers LLC, a multi-faceted business focused on diversity consulting, media driven women’s empowerment initiatives and diverse entertainment investments, based in New York City.
Gadsden-Williams is the former Managing Director and Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Credit Suisse AG. She provided strategic direction, thought leadership and championed the development of an inclusive environment by integrating diversity practice into all aspects of the business. Michelle is a seasoned and highly sought after diversity practitioner with more than 20 years of experience working in the consumer goods and pharmaceutical industries before transitioning to financial services in 2011.
Gadsden-Williams earned a B.S. in Marketing, a B.A. in Communications from Kean College of New Jersey and an M.S. in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated and the Executive Leadership Council. Gadsden-Williams and her husband, David Jamal Williams, Co-Founder and CEO of Ceiling Breakers, LLC, live in New York City.
Sara Bowen is an Inclusion and diversity leader building environments in which everyone can thrive and succeed. Extensive expertise in pay equity, inclusion strategies, diversity goals, OFCCP and EEO compliance, and accessibility. Strong background in employment law, having practiced as a lawyer many years in Washington and California. As Vice President of Global Diversity & Inclusion at Boeing, Sara works with exceptional people to connect, protect, explore, and inspire the world through aerospace innovation.
Sandra Phillips Rogers is group vice president, chief legal officer, general counsel and corporate secretary of Toyota Motor North America (TMNA). In this role, she oversees the legal services function for Toyota’s North American operations, Toyota Legal One (“TL1”), and the representation of the company and its affiliates. Rogers directs the strategy to help Toyota navigate significant business and legal challenges while supporting its expansion as a global mobility company, one that is an industry leader in autonomous, connected and sustainable vehicle technologies. She also provides strategic guidance in areas such as global transactions, cybersecurity, privacy, government and regulatory investigations, complex litigation, labor and employment and intellectual property, among others. She serves as an advisor to the TMNA Executive Committee and is a member of the company’s global leadership team.
In December of 2018, Phillips Rogers added the role of chief diversity officer (CDO). Previously, Rogers was vice president and deputy general counsel, Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. Prior to joining Toyota in June 2012, Rogers was a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, where she focused on complex litigation management and strategy, including crisis management. She also served as senior vice president, associate general counsel and chief litigation counsel at Pfizer Inc., where she was responsible for the company’s global product litigation and environmental litigation strategies. Previously, she was managing partner of the Houston office of Shook, Hardy & Bacon.
Rogers serves on the board of directors for the YWCA USA, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, and the University of Texas Law School Foundation. She holds both a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
Jon Muñoz is vice president of global diversity and inclusion at Hilton. Muñoz oversees Hilton’s comprehensive diversity and inclusion management practice focused on culture, talent and marketplace initiatives. He is responsible for leading external engagement with diverse strategic non-profit partners, consulting with internal diversity stakeholders, integrating across HR functions, and overseeing Team Member resource group governance and strategies.
For its comprehensive approach to diversity and inclusion, Hilton has been recognized by DiversityInc, Fortune, Forbes, Human Rights Campaign, National Business Inclusion Consortium, LATINA Style and LATINO, among others.
Muñoz joined Hilton in 2011 as Senior Director, Diversity & Inclusion and has played a key role in driving Hilton’s diversity and inclusion efforts. Prior to joining Hilton, Muñoz served in diversity roles for Sprint and multicultural marketing roles for Nextel Communications, Bank One (JPMorgan Chase) and NationsBank (Bank of America).
He is also a co-founder of the National Hispanic Corporate Council Corporate Executive Development Program offered in partnership with Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business. The CEDP is dedicated to advancing Hispanic managers to executive positions in corporations.
Muñoz holds a Bachelors of Science in communications and advertising from the University of Texas at Austin.
Umran Beba is the Chief Global Diversity and Engagement Officer for PepsiCo. PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world, and generated more than $64 billion in net revenue in 2018, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.
Beba assumed her current role in November 2018. She leads PepsiCo’s global diversity agenda, working with sector leadership teams to execute a sustainable roadmap for PepsiCo’s people-related sustainability goals. Beba has held a wide range of roles since joining PepsiCo in 1994. In her previous role, she held a variety of accountabilities within the global HR function, including overseeing the Centers of Expertise for Human Capital Management. Prior to that, she served as Senior Vice President and Chief HR Officer for PepsiCo Asia, Middle East and North Africa, based in Dubai. Earlier in her career, she served as General Manager of PepsiCo’s East Mediterranean business unit, comprising Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Iraq, and subsequently as President of two different regions – South East Europe and Asia Pacific. She started her PepsiCo career at Frito-Lay in Turkey, where she held positions including Marketing Director, HR Director and ultimately General Manager.
Beba is a great supporter of all of PepsiCo’s sustainability goals, and has led the development or expansion of numerous programs designed to achieve them. These include Water Hope, a collaborative social enterprise that aims to bring clean drinking water to over one million Filipinos; Liter of Light, bringing clean energy to poor communities across Asia, Africa and South America; and a partnership with UNESCO to build a Business Skills Development Center in Myanmar. Beba has received numerous recognitions for her dedication to diversity and inclusion, including the 2013 “Global Inspiring Women Worldwide Award” from the Women International Network, and PepsiCo’s Steve Reinemund Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Legacy Award in 2012.
A native of Turkey, Beba earned her MBA and Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Bogaziçi University in Istanbul. She and her husband have two sons. Beba is based in Purchase, New York
Ellen Torbert serves Southwest Airlines as Vice President Diversity & Inclusion. In her role, Ellen provides leadership, vision, and advocacy as Southwest continues its work to foster an inclusive work environment. As part of Ellen’s responsibility for Southwest’s diversity and inclusion efforts, she provides coordination and leadership to our supplier diversity, diversity recruiting, and training efforts. Ellen also works with the Corporate Diversity Council on our other “Matter of Respect” initiatives and awareness efforts.
EXPERIENCE: Ellen has previously held the positions of Reservations Sales Agent, IAM Shop Steward, Reservations Supervisor, Reservations Assistant Manager, Manager Reservations Training, Director Reservations Training, and Vice President Customer Support & Services for Southwest Airlines.
EDUCATION: Ellen received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Western Michigan University.
Emily Pitts began her Edward Jones career in 1995 as a financial advisor in Atlanta, was named a principal in 2004, and moved to the firm’s headquarters to implement marketing of credit cards and mortgage services.
Today, she leads the firm’s comprehensive inclusion and diversity efforts, which helps foster an inclusive environment and deliver results. Pitts helped create and execute the firm’s first Courageous Conversation Program, based on the movie Hidden Figures, to support the CEO Diversity Action Plan and oversees the implementation of the plan. She also created the firm’s first Cross-Cultural Development Program (CCDP), which helps diverse financial advisors learn best practices to serve more clients. She also developed the firm’s first Women’s Leadership Forum, Minority Leadership Forum and Inclusion Mentoring Program, and she oversees the firm’s Inclusion Council and BRGs.
Pitts has a bachelor’s in business administration and an EMBA from Washington University. She serves on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater St. Louis, the St. Louis Urban League, and is board chair for the Diversity Awareness Partnership. She serves on the diversity committee of the National Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and the Executive Leadership Council, a group of African-American executives from Fortune 500 companies focused on building and developing an inclusive business leadership pipeline of African-American corporate leaders.
Pitts received the 2009 Women’s Leadership Award for Corporate Excellence. Diversity Woman’s Magazine named her one of 50 Diversity Champions in 2013, Savoy Magazine named her one of the 2014 Top Influential Women in Corporate America, the St. Louis Business Journal named her to its 25 Most Influential Business Women. Pitts received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Urban League and the St. Louis Public School signed by Former President Obama. In 2018, she received the YWCA Women’s Corporate Leadership Award.
Dave Kozel is Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer of PVH Corp. and has been with PVH since 2003.
In this role, Dave is responsible for Human Resources, Compensation, Benefits, Talent Management and Development, Inclusion & Diversity, Communications and Facilities for one of the largest global apparel companies in the world. With a proven track record for creating and developing HR strategies and solutions that drive business results, Dave has been instrumental in building PVH’s rich culture, introducing a comprehensive portfolio of programs at PVH, including associate engagement programs, the Inclusion and Diversity program, and the Company’s award-winning associate training and development program, PVH University.
Under Dave’s leadership, PVH has been recognized for its commitment to creating an inclusive environment where every individual is valued, including being named one of Forbes’ Best Employers for Diversity and earning 100% on the HRC Corporate Equality Index. The Company was also ranked among the top 100 Most Inclusive and Diverse companies globally on the Thomas Reuters Global Inclusion Index and named one of Forbes’ and JUST Capital’s Most JUST Companies.
Dave joined PVH in 2003 as Senior Vice President, Human Resources, and was promoted to Executive Vice President, Human Resources in 2013. He changed to his current title in June 2015. Prior to joining PVH, Dave served as the Executive Vice President of Human Resources for J. Crew and held executive HR positions at Grey Advertising and Deluxe Corporation. His early career was spent at Citicorp and Pacific Gas & Electric in various Human Resource positions. Dave has a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from Lehigh University and a Masters Degree in Industrial Relations from University of Illinois.
LaToya I. Jordan is the Director, Talent Management & Diversity at JetBlue and leads the company’s overall talent strategy related to key practices including internal talent movement, developing talent success drivers, career navigation, performance management, diversity strategy and initiatives, and emerging talent strategy.
Prior to this role, she served as the Manager of Organizational Effectiveness, focusing on managing OD-related engagements as well as facilitating leadership training programs. Before coming to JetBlue, LaToya led Pfizer’s Employee Development & Mentoring global strategy. She has also served as an external consultant for diverse organizations, including the Citizen School, United States Postal Service, NAACP Brooklyn Branch, Platform Learning, etc. LaToya also spent nine years as a Director in Student Affairs for several universities across the country, including Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI and Barnard College in New York, NY. She continues to serve as an adjunct professor in business management at universities.
LaToya holds a Ph.D. in Social-Organizational Psychology from Columbia University.
David L. Cohen is a Senior Executive Vice President and the Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast Corporation. He has a broad portfolio of responsibilities, including corporate communications, government and regulatory affairs, public affairs, corporate administration, corporate real estate and security, and community impact. He also serves as senior counselor to the CEO. Before joining Comcast in July of 2002, David served as a partner in and Chairman of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP, one of the 100 largest law firms in the country.
A native of New York, David graduated from Swarthmore College in 1977 with a B.A. and in 1981 with a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School (summa cum laude). From January 1992 to April 1997, David served as Chief of Staff to the Honorable Edward G. Rendell, the Mayor of the City of Philadelphia. As detailed in the book A Prayer for the City, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Buzz Bissinger, David played a critical coordinating role in significant budgetary and financial issues, in economic development activities, in collective bargaining negotiations, and in a wide variety of other policy and operational issues relating to the city.
David serves as Chairman of the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and its Executive Committee. He also serves as a member of the Trustee Board and the Executive Committee of Penn Medicine. In addition, David serves on both the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the Chamber’s CEO Council for Growth. He is also Honorary Chair of Campus Philly’s Board of Directors, is Chair of the Philadelphia Theatre Company, is a member of the United States Semiquincentennial Commission, and is Chair of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Philadelphia Bid Committee. David also serves as Chair of the national board of City Year and its Executive Committee and Chair of its Governance Committee. He also serves on the national board of the National Urban League and is Chair of its Audit Committee, and is Chair of the Corporate Advisory Board of UnidosUS. Additionally, David is a member of the Board of Directors of FS Global Credit Opportunities Fund and serves as Chair of its Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.
David has received numerous awards for his civic and charitable activities, including the Americanism Award of the Anti-Defamation League (1993), the American Red Cross Citizen of the Year Award (1999), the National Cable Television Association Vanguard Award for Leadership and Impact in the Cable Industry (2005), the President’s Volunteer Service Award (2007), the MS Society Hope Award (2007), the Drexel University Business Leader of the Year Award (2008), the National Urban League of Philadelphia Business Leader of the Year Award (2008), The William Way Community Center Amicus in Res Award (2009), the William Penn Award from the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce (2012), the Spirit of Asian American Award (2012), the Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Award (2012), the Community Hero Award (2013), the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Champion of Youth Award (2015), the Peirce College Legacy of Leadership Award (2016), the Minority Corporate Counsel Association Lifetime Achievement Award (2017), the 4-H Brand Champion Award (2018), Kappa Alpha Psi’s “Distinguished Citizens Award” (2019), and has consistently been named to Black Enterprise magazine’s list of top corporate diversity executives. David also was awarded Honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Drexel University (1997), Rider University (2010), and Rowan University (2017).
David lives in Philadelphia with his wife.