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About Us

The Executive Leadership Council is the preeminent member organization for the development of global black leaders.
Our mission is to increase the number of successful black executives —both domestically and internationally —by adding
value to their development, leadership, and philanthropic endeavors throughout the life-cycle of their careers thereby
strengthening their companies, organizations, and communities.

It all began with Alvaro L. Martins, a Cleveland native and top Xerox sales executive who brought together 18 corporate men and one woman to form
The Executive Leadership Council in 1986. Mr. Martins was a corporate pioneer noted for mentoring African-American leaders in higher education and
corporate America. As an executive at IBM and then Xerox in the early 1960s, his world was one where few blacks had found acceptance in the halls of
corporate America or pathways to executive leadership. There were no black CEOs among the Fortune 500 CEOs, few blacks on corporate executive
tracks, and even fewer black senior corporate executive women.

In 1986, Mr. Martins invited a few of his corporate friends to meet in Dallas, Texas to discuss saving Bishop College, an Historically Black College and
University (HBCU) experiencing hard financial times. They, in turn, invited other black corporate leaders. Within months, the executives who united
to save Bishop College realized the power of the network they had formed. They helped keep the school afloat until 1988 when it closed.
(The former campus is now the home of Paul Quinn College) More importantly, the network became the catalyst for a corporate civil rights movement that
brought together early political supporters like Congressmen Parren Mitchell and Charles Rangel, and Senator Edward Kennedy who helped sponsor a
meeting for the group of leaders of which 19 became the Founding Members of The Executive Leadership Council.

What We Do

The Executive Leadership Council (ELC) is the preeminent membership organization committed to increasing the number
of global black executives in C-Suites, on corporate boards and in global enterprises.

Our Goals

Our mission is to increase the number of successful black executives, domestically and internationally, by adding value to their development, leadership
and philanthropic endeavors, thereby strengthening their companies, organizations and communities across the lifecycle of their careers. Comprised of
more than 500 current and former black CEOs, board members and senior executives at Fortune 1,000 companies, we work to build an inclusive
business leadership pipeline that empowers global black leaders to make impactful contributions to the marketplace.

Two key focus areas include 1) increasing the number of global black executives serving in CEO positions and those one and two levels below by a net
addition of at least one in each Fortune 500 company; and 2) increasing the number of seats held by global black executives on the boards of publicly
traded companies by 200. These aspirations will help advance innovation and the competitiveness of corporations, ensuring the long-term success of
communities by bringing diverse thinking to the decision-making table.


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