Mellody Hobson is responsible for firm-wide management and strategic planning, overseeing all operations outside of research and portfolio management for Ariel Investments. Additionally, she serves as chairman of the board of trustees for Ariel Investment Trust.
Beyond her work at Ariel, Mellody has become a nationally recognized voice on financial literacy and investor education. She is a regular contributor and analyst on finance, the markets and economic trends for CBS News. She also contributes weekly money tips on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and pens a column for Black Enterprise magazine.
As a passionate advocate for investor education, she is a spokesperson for the Ariel/Hewitt Study 401(k) Plans in Living Color and the Ariel Black Investor Survey, both of which examine investing patterns among minorities. Mellody is a director of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. and Starbucks Corporation.
Her community outreach includes serving as chairman of After School Matters, a non-profit organization that provides Chicago teens with high-quality out-of-school programs. She is chair of The Economic Club of Chicago’s board of directors, a board member of The Chicago Public Education Fund, the George Lucas Education Foundation, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, and the Sundance Institute, where she has been appointed emeritus trustee. She is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and serves on the executive committee of the Investment Company Institute’s board of governors. In 2015, Mellody was named to Time Magazine’s annual list of the one hundred most influential people in the world.
Mellody earned her AB from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations and Public Policy. She has also received honorary doctorate degrees from Howard University, St. Mary’s College and the University of Southern California.