Meet Laurel Richie
Laurel Richie has made a name for herself as a proven leader in multiple fields throughout her career, including marketing, education, sports and the nonprofit world. She has weaved women’s advocacy into all aspects of her career.
Ms. Richie currently serves as an independent director at Synchrony Financial and Bright Horizons and as a leadership consultant to Fortune 100 c-suite executives at Merryck & Co. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College where she has served for eight years on the board of trustees eight years ago and currently serves as its chair.
Richie became the first person of color to lead a major national sports league when she served as President of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) from 2011 to 2015, leading led the league’s business, operations, and marketing initiatives. While she did not play sports growing up, she understands the value of teams through her group experiences in theater. She has also spoken about the fact that research suggests that participation in sports has a very positive impact on girls, leading to higher self-esteem, higher likelihood of graduating from college, and a large percentage of female executives played team sports growing up.
Prior to leading the WNBA, she served as senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Girl Scouts of the USA, where she led the development of a new brand strategy that helped revitalize this iconic brand, and as a senior partner and executive group director at advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather, where she worked with many blue-chip corporate and pro-bono nonprofit clients and became a founding member of the agency’s external Diversity Advisory Board.
A frequent keynote speaker and panelist on Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion, Richie is a recipient of the Black Girls Rock! Shot Caller Award, Sports Business Journal’s Game Changer Award, and the YMCA Black Achievers in Industry Award. She was awarded Ebony magazine’s Outstanding Women in Marketing and Communications award and named to its Power 100 List. Black Enterprise magazine named her one of the Most Influential African Americans in Sports, and Savoy magazine recognized her as one of the Most Influential Black Corporate Directors.