As Co-CEO, Mellody is responsible for management, strategic planning and growth for all areas of Ariel Investments outside of research and portfolio management. Additionally, she serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ariel Investment Trust—the company’s publicly traded mutual funds. Prior to being named Co-CEO, Mellody spent nearly two decades as the firm’s President.
Outside of Ariel, Mellody is a nationally recognized voice on financial literacy. Her leadership has also been invaluable to corporate boardrooms across the nation. She currently serves as Chair of the Board of Starbucks Corporation. She is also a director of JPMorgan Chase. She previously served as Chairman of the Board of DreamWorks Animation until the company’s sale and was also a long-standing board member of the Estée Lauder Companies. Mellody’s community outreach includes her role as Chairman of After School Matters, a Chicago non-profit that provides area teens with high-quality after school and summer programs. Additionally, she is vice chair of World Business Chicago; co-chair of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art; and a board member of the George Lucas Education Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies. She also serves on the board of trustees of the Center for Strategic & International Studies, and of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Mellody is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, The Rockefeller Foundation Board of Trustees, and serves on the executive committee of the Investment Company Institute.
Mellody earned her AB from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations and Public Policy. In 2019, she was awarded the University’s highest honor, the Woodrow Wilson Award, presented annually to a Princeton graduate whose career embodies a commitment to national service. She has also received honorary doctorate degrees from Howard University, Johns Hopkins University, St. Mary’s College, and the University of Southern California. In 2015, Time Magazine named her one of the “100 Most Influential People” in the world.
Robbie Robinson is the Founder & CEO of Pendulum Holdings, LLC. Previously, Robbie was a Managing Director of BDT & Company and spent nine years at Goldman Sachs in a variety of roles in New York and Chicago, including advisory, principal investing and real estate financing. Robbie currently serves on the Board of Managers of The Wrigley Building. He is also a visiting trustee to the Board of Trustees of Morehouse College and is Vice Chairman of the Board of After School Matters. Robbie earned his BA in Political Science from Morehouse College.
Nora Daley is a long-time supporter of Chicago arts, currently serving as the Vice Chair of the Terra Foundation of American Art. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of Steppenwolf Theatre Company and is a member of the Board and executive committee of After School Matters. Daley also serves on the advisory board of the Illinois Justice Project. She received a BA in Art History from Fairfield University, and she lives in Chicago with her husband and three children.