President and CEO, TIAA
Last May, Thasunda Brown Duckett became CEO of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA), making her the second Black woman currently leading a Fortune 500 company and only the fourth Black woman in history to serve as a Fortune 500 CEO.
“It does not escape me that I am standing on the shoulders of giants, including the cooks and janitors and others who look like me and were first to enter corporate America,” Duckett told ABC News. “They created the space for me to have this opportunity. My hope is that corporate America realizes that talent is created equally but opportunity is not, and we all acknowledge that there’s still more work to be done.”
Consistently recognized as a leading executive in finance and banking, Duckett was named to Fortune’s 2021 Most Powerful Women list, as well as Black Enterprise magazine’s Most Powerful Women in Corporate America list. Prior to joining TIAA, where she oversees more than $1 trillion of assets under management, Duckett spent nearly five years as the CEO of Chase Consumer Banking, leading a banking network with over $600 billion in deposits and undertaking Chase’s first major branch expansion in 10 years. Under her leadership, the bank added 400 branches in 20 new markets over five years. Throughout her career, Duckett has underscored the need to educate, help and inspire underserved communities through financial literacy, hiring diversity and simply giving back to her community. In 2013, she established the Otis and Rosie Brown Foundation to meet the needs of vulnerable children and families in North Texas more effectively.