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 401(k) 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 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 featured guest on other ABC News programs including “World News Tonight,” “Nightline” and the 2009 special “Unbroke: What You Need to Know about Money” for which she served as executive producer and host. Mellody is also the featured consumer finance expert on Tom Joyner’s “Money Mondays” radio program and a regular columnist for Black Enterprise. In addition, she is a spokesperson for both the 2009 Ariel/Hewitt study, “401(k) Plans in Living Color” and the Ariel/Schwab Black Investor Surveys.
Beyond her work in finance and investor education, Mellody is actively involved with a variety of civic and professional institutions. Her community outreach includes serving as a board member of the Chicago Public Library and its foundation, 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 and is a member of the SEC Investment Advisory Committee.
She is a director of three public companies: DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc., The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. and Starbucks Corporation. 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 for her contributions to both the university and the larger community.