Airbnb Hires New Head of Global Diversity and Belonging

In an effort to move forward with efficiency and to further enact its most recent manifesto, Airbnb has hired Melissa Thomas-Hunt whose background is rooted in building inclusive, global teams. She comes from Vanderbilt University, where she served as vice provost for Inclusive Excellence.

In her previous role, Thomas-Hunt was responsible for helping advance equity, diversity, and inclusion in Vanderbilt’s academic research and community of almost 22,000 students, staff and faculty. Prior to her work at Vanderbilt, Thomas-Hunt served as global chief diversity officer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business where she was focused on ensuring that the student community was seen, heard, valued, and supported.

In her role at Airbnb, Thomas-Hunt will lead the strategy and execution of global internal diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging programs for Airbnb’s 5,000 employees around the world.

“We aspire to be a global leader in diversity and belonging—not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s core to our mission,” said Brian Chesky, co-founder, CEO, and Head of Community in a statement. “To have the impact we want on the world, we have to start inside our own walls and make sure every employee at Airbnb feels like they belong. Melissa is a visionary in this space who has spent her career exploring the causes of inequality, finding solutions to promote inclusion, and producing real change. I am incredibly grateful that she has agreed to bring her leadership and expertise to Airbnb.”

At Vanderbilt, Thomas-Hunt’s research and teaching focused on organizational behavior and the factors that unleash, leverage and amplify the talents and contributions made by women and underrepresented individuals. Prior to that, she worked at IBM as a marketing representative and received her master’s and doctoral degrees from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and her undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University.

“I felt deeply called by Airbnb’s mission and purpose. Increasing belonging is powerful, compelling and complex to operationalize,” said Thomas-Hunt in a statement. “By continuing to build a diverse and inclusive team around the world, we can help individuals shift and shape their trajectory to realize their full potential, and I am honored to join Airbnb to help achieve these goals.” 

In recent years, Airbnb has launched a series of initiatives like the Airbnb Community Commitment and Open Doors policies that help fight discrimination and promote belonging. Thomas-Hunt will advise Airbnb on these and other initiatives that are designed to work to fight bias and ensure the platform is open and fair for all hosts and guests.

Career | Black Enterprise

EMPLOYMENT UPDATE:

Joe Biden Hires Symone Sanders as His 2020 Presidential Campaign Strategist

Former Vice President Joe Biden has selected Symone Sanders to be a senior adviser to his 2020 presidential campaign, the AP is reporting.

Sanders was the former press secretary for Sen. Bernie Sanders (no relation) during the 2016 election when the Vermont senator ran as the Democrat nominee.

The 29-year-old is also a high-profile political analyst at CNN. She spoke at this year’s Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit.

In an interview with Black Enterprise, Sanders spoke about the value black women bring to the political arena.

“I think the political and democratic apparatus has woken up to see the real value of black women and now they are doing all kinds of things to hold on to it and bring black women into the fold and black women are like, ‘We just want you to hire us, give us resources, let us lead, and get out of our way,” she said.

As someone who is often on the forefront of heated conversations and debates, Sanders is known for her ability to stand her ground. Beyond her career, she says that there are two things that no one can go toe-to-toe with her on and they are Nebraska and Beyoncé.

“I’m from Nebraska and you can’t tell me nothing about Nebraska. I’m also a Beyoncé fan and you can’t tell me nothing about Beyoncé. I don’t care who you are, what setting we’re in, or where we are—if I’m in a meeting with a potential president of the United States, if we get on the topic of Nebraska and Beyoncé, I am going to feel very emboldened to speak up and push back and talk to you about that. So, black women, we need to feel the same way about Nebraska and Beyoncé as we do about all of these other things that we deal with in our workplace every single day.”

Watch Black Enterprise’s interview with Symone Sanders:

—Additional reporting by Lydia T. Blanco and Selena Hill 

 

The post Joe Biden Hires Symone Sanders as His 2020 Presidential Campaign Strategist appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEALS UPDATE:

Billionaire Ken Griffin’s Citadel hires female hedge fund founder

Billionaire Ken Griffin just snagged an ex-Paulson & Co. trader for his $ 28 billion hedge fund, The Post has learned. Griffin, who has been grabbing talent from Goldman Sachs, D.E. Shaw and Point 72 Capital in recent months, hired Samantha Greenberg away from Margate Capital, the $ 215 million hedge fund she launched three years ago,…
Business | New York Post

SPECIAL DISCOUNT UPDATE:

Scandal-Plagued USA Gymnastics Hires NBA Executive Li Li Leung as New CEO

Li Li Leung spent two years watching USA Gymnastics struggle through the aftermath of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. A former college gymnast at the University of Michigan who still considered herself “embedded” in the sport while serving as a vice president with the NBA, Leung kept waiting for things to get better.

Only they didn’t. Leadership changed. More and more survivors stepped forward to detail their experiences at the hands of Nassar, a former national team doctor. The United States Olympic Committee began the process of stripping USA Gymnastics of its status as the national governing body. One of the U.S. Olympic movement’s marquee programs was rudderless and fighting for its survival.

“I was frankly very, very disappointed in terms of where the sport and the organization had gotten to,” Leung said.

So disappointed that she felt compelled to come home.

USA Gymnastics hired Leung as its new president and chief executive officer on Tuesday, a job she accepted in an effort to help the organization and the sport find a way forward.

“I have bled, sweated and cried alongside my teammates as well as other team members and other gymnasts,” Leung said Tuesday. “And it really broke my heart to see where the sport was. We can do better for the sport. … Our gymnasts deserve better.”

The 45-year-old Leung, who will begin her new position on March 8, competed as a member of a U.S. junior national training team and represented the U.S. in the 1988 Junior Pan American Games. She helped Michigan win four Big Ten titles during her college career and served as a volunteer assistant gymnastics coach while earning two master’s degrees at the University of Massachusetts. Her professional stops include stints at USA Basketball and the NBA.

Now she returns to the sport she started in at age 7, hoping to prevent USA Gymnastics from being decertified by the USOC.

USA Gymnastics filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December in an effort to reach settlements in the dozens of sex-abuse lawsuits it faces in courts across the country from athletes who blame the group for failing to supervise Nassar, a team doctor accused of molesting them.

The 55-year-old Nassar worked at USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University for decades. He is serving an effective life sentence for child porn possession and molesting young women and girls under the guise of medical treatment.

Leung said she has already spoken to USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland and that “both sides are committed to working closely to resolve the decertification request.”

“We remain hopeful, that USA Gym will be the (national governing body) going forward,” Leung said.

Hirshland called Leung “an accomplished professional” in a statement and expressed optimism about the direction of the organization under Leung’s leadership.

“I’m very hopeful that Li Li’s combination of experience and desire to lead will be a positive force for change in the lives of gymnasts all over the country,” Hirshland said.

Leung is the fourth person to hold the position of president and CEO in the last two years. Steve Penny resigned under pressure in March 2017. His replacement, Kerry Perry, lasted less than a year when she stepped down under heavy scrutiny from the USOC last September.

The organization then turned to former U.S. Rep. Mary Bono on an interim basis last October, but she resigned after just four days, saying she felt her affiliation would be a “liability” after a social media post by Bono criticizing Nike and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick drew widespread scrutiny within the gymnastics community.

Leung acknowledged she is well aware of the churn at the top but added, “I wouldn’t have taken this job if I didn’t think I could have been successful in it.”

USA Gymnastics surveyed more than 200 members of the gymnastics community during the process, including current or former athletes, coaches, club owners and judges. Board chair Kathryn Carson said Leung “has the passion, the personal commitment and the resilience to lead USA Gymnastics at this juncture.”

Leung’s to-do list includes what she called “fair and equitable resolution” with Nassar survivors so “they can work with us to make the fundamental changes that are necessary.” USA Gymnastics has been criticized over the last two years for its tone-deaf approach.

Olympic champion Simone Biles, herself a Nassar victim, openly challenged Perry’s inability to articulate a path toward reconciliation before the national championships last August. Less than a month later, Perry was out of a job.

John Manly, a California-based attorney representing dozens of athletes suing USA Gymnastics, dismissed Leung’s hire as “business as usual.” Manly called Leung “an insider” and said survivors were “ignored” after asking to be part of the process.

“I think the good thing about it is it gives survivors and their families absolute clarity about what needs to happen to USA Gymnastics is that it needs to go away and be replaced because they’re incapable of reforming themselves,” Manly said.

Leung said her focus will be on helping foster a culture focused on athlete health and safety. When an independent report released in December detailed a pattern of negligence that allowed Nassar’s behavior to run unchecked for so long, Leung said she empathized with its details of “having gymnasts suffer silently, sacrifice their childhood, competing on broken bones.”

She plans to keep that perspective in mind as USA Gymnastics attempts to forge ahead.

“Judge us on our response,” she said. “Judge us on our actions going forward. We will learn from the past and look to the future to heal and rebuild.”

Sports – TIME

ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE:

Apple hires an ex-Microsoft exec to revamp its smart home business, and catch up to Google, Amazon

Apple just brought on a new leader for its home unit.
Health and Science

U.S.HEALTHCARE UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Amazon-led health venture hires technology chief to work under Gawande

Serkan Kutan announced his new role on LinkedIn, describing the CTO role for the still-unnamed health initiative as a "dream job."
Health and Science

U.S.HEALTHCARE UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!