Mellody Hobson is president of Ariel Investments, a Chicago-based money management firm that serves institutional clients through separately managed accounts as well as individual investors and defined contribution plans through its no-load mutual funds. As president, Mellody is responsible for firm-wide management and strategic planning, overseeing all operations outside of research and portfolio management. Additionally, she serves as chairman of the board of trustees for the mutual funds. She joined Ariel in 1991 after graduating from Princeton University where she received her AB 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. She is a regular financial contributor on “Good Morning America,” and a frequent guest on ABC’s World News Tonight. In 2009 she served as executive producer and host of an ABC prime-time special, “Unbroke: What You Need to Know about Money.” Mellody is also a weekly finance expert on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and a regular columnist for Black Enterprise. She has been quoted and profiled in a number of publications including: Essence, Fortune, Money, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal among many others.
Mellody is actively involved with a variety of civic and professional institutions. Her community outreach includes serving as a board member of The Field Museum, The Chicago Public Education Fund and The Sundance Institute. Additionally, she is on the board of governors of the Investment Company Institute. She is a director of DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc., The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., Starbucks Corporation and Groupon. Mellody is also a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, the Commercial Club of Chicago, the Young President’s Organization (YPO) and is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. Additionally, in 2010, she received an honorary doctorate degree in humanities from Howard University. She is a former member of the Princeton University Board of Trustees.