Mellody Hobson is President of Ariel Capital Management, LLC—a Chicago-based mutual fund company and investment management firm founded in 1983. With over $15.5 billion in assets under management, the firm serves individual investors and 401(k) plans through its no-load Ariel Mutual funds and manages separate accounts for institutional clients. As President, Mellody is responsible for firmwide management and strategic planning, overseeing all operations of Ariel’s business outside of research and portfolio management. Last fall, she was elected Chairman of the Ariel Mutual Funds Board of Trustees. She joined the company in 1991 after graduating from Princeton University where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations and Public Policy.
Mellody has become a nationally recognized voice on financial literacy and investor education. Specifically, she is a regular financial contributor on ABC’s Good Morning America as well s a spokesperson for the annual Ariel/ Schwab Black Investor Survey, which examines the influences and investing habits of Black and White Americans. She is actively involved with a variety of civic and professional institutions. Her community outreach includes her role as a board member of the Chicago Public Library as well as its foundation, The Field Museum, The Chicago Public Education Fund and The Sundance Institute. She is also a director of three public companies: DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc., The EstÉe Lauder Companies Inc. and Starbucks Corporation. Additionally, she is on the Board of Governors of the Investment Company Institute, a Term Member of the New York Council on Foreign Relations, and a former Trustee of Princeton University. Mellody is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, the Commercial Club of Chicago and the Young President’s Organization (YPO).
Her professional and civic leadership have brought her to the forefront of media attention. In 2004, The Wall Street Journal profiled Mellody as one of 50 “Women to Watch” in the corporate world. In 2004, Time magazine identified her as one of 25 business influentials setting the global standards for management, ethics, marketing and innovation. In 2002, Esquire magazine named Mellody as one of “America’s Best and Brightest” emerging leaders. In 2001, the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland named her a Global Leader of Tomorrow (GLT), and Fortune magazine recognized her as one of 25 “Next-Generation Global Leaders.”