Mellody Hobson is the president of Ariel Investments. In this role, she is responsible for managing the firm’s business operations, development, and strategic initiatives. In addition, Hobson serves as chair of the board of trustees of Ariel Investment Trust.
Ariel Investments is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and has offices in New York City and Sydney, Australia. The firm manages assets of retirement plans, college saving accounts, and personal investment accounts. With strong ties to the community, Ariel is focused on making investing accessible for everyone. Individuals are able to invest $1,000 in the firm’s mutual funds.
Hobson’s work outside Ariel is rooted in her passion for financial literacy and investor education. She is a regular contributor for CBS News, provides weekly money tips on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, and authors a column for Black Enterprise Magazine.
In addition to serving as a financial expert in the media, Hobson channels her expertise in many boardrooms. She is vice chair of the board of Starbucks Corporation, and also serves as a director of The Estée Lauder Companies and J.P. Morgan Chase. Hobson is former chair of the board of DreamWorks Animation. As a Chicago-native, Hobson is involved in numerous organizations that focus on improving the city. She serves as chair of After School Matters, a non-profit that provides Chicago teens with high-quality, out-of-school time programs. In addition, she is a board member of The Chicago Public Education Fund. In 2017, Hobson became the first African-American woman to become chair of the Economic Club of Chicago in its 90-year history.
Beyond her philanthropic work in her hometown, Hobson is a board member of the Rockefeller Foundation, George Lucas Education Foundation, and Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. In 2015, Time Magazine named Hobson as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. She has been awarded honorary degrees from Howard University, Johns Hopkins University, and St. Mary’s College. Hobson earned her AB from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations and Public Policy.