Inclusion in Action: Seeking Sustainable Solutions to Create Equal Opportunity

CNBC’s Inclusion in Action Forum will examine how business leaders can take immediate, concrete action addressing racial disparities in their organizations and create sustainable solutions to allow for equity and opportunity for all.

The Forum is programmed in partnership with the Executive Leadership Council, the nation’s leading advocacy and educational network for Black executives. The event will leverage CNBC and The Executive Leadership Council’s unparalleled convening power to gather top executives who will share their experiences and ideas on how to improve systems and policies.

The forum will cover a variety of topics such as: utilizing quantitative and qualitative data that can inform diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives; instituting inclusion efforts to improve morale, expand markets, and increase profits; developing diverse talent pipelines at every level; transforming corporate culture; and redefining the accountability of leadership from the CEO, to senior leadership and corporate boards as it pertains to achieving inclusion goals.

Follow our relevant editorial coverage on

Learn more about ELC, or connect with the team.


Morgan DeBaun

Morgan DeBaun is the Founder & CEO of Blavity Inc., the leading media company for Black culture and millennials.

Since launching Blavity Inc. in 2014, Morgan has led the company to successfully acquire Travel Noire, a travel platform for Black millennials and Shadow And Act, a Black entertainment news site. Under her leadership, Blavity has launched several leading consumer summits including Summit 21 for Black women creators and Bay Area’s AfroTech, the largest tech conference for Black innovators and founders. While scaling the company, Morgan has raised 11 million dollars from top Silicon Valley venture firms such as GV and Comcast.

Morgan is a passionate small business advocate and advises early stage entrepreneurs on how to scale their business in her Signature WorkSmart Advising program.

Morgan is a St.Louis native and a graduate of Washington University in St.Louis.

Arnold Donald

Arnold Donald has been president & chief executive officer of Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest leisure travel company, since July 2013. Prior to that, he served on the board for 12 years. He currently serves on the board of Bank of America Corporation and Crown Holdings, Inc.

Mr. Donald spent more than 20 years at Monsanto Company as corporate senior vice-president, president of the consumer and nutrition sector, and president of the agricultural sector. Following Monsanto, Mr. Donald was chairman of Merisant Company, which manufactures leading global sweetener brands Equal and Canderel.

Immediately prior to Carnival Corporation, Mr. Donald was president and CEO of the Executive Leadership Council, a professional network and leadership forum for African-American executives of Fortune 500 companies, and president and CEO of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, the world’s largest charitable funder of diabetes research.

Ginni Rometty

Virginia M. (Ginni) Rometty is the former Executive Chairman of IBM. She was previously Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.

Ginni became Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of IBM in 2012. During her tenure she made bold changes to reposition IBM for the future, investing in high value segments of the IT market and optimizing the company’s portfolio. Under Ginni’s leadership, IBM built out key capabilities in hybrid cloud, security, quantum computing, industry expertise, and data and AI, both organically and through acquisition. IBM acquired 64 companies during Ginni’s tenure as CEO, including Red Hat, the largest acquisition in the company’s history. She reinvented more than 50 percent of IBM’s portfolio, built a $21 billion hybrid cloud business and established IBM’s leadership in AI, quantum computing and blockchain, while divesting nearly $10 billion in annual revenue to focus the portfolio on IBM’s high-value, integrated offerings.

Ginni also established IBM as the model of responsible stewardship in the digital age. She was the industry’s leading voice on technology ethics and data stewardship, working relentlessly to safely usher new technologies into society. She enabled people of diverse backgrounds and education levels to participate in the digital economy by building talent, skills and opportunity for disadvantaged populations. Under her leadership, IBM created thousands of New Collar jobs and championed the reinvention of education around the world, including the explosive growth of the six-year Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools, or P‑TECHs, which are helping prepare the workforce of the future, serving hundreds of thousands of students in over 200 schools and 24 countries. She also helped to redefine the purpose of the corporation through her work with the Business Roundtable, expanding corporate commitments to include a wide range of stakeholders, from customers to communities.

IBM also achieved record results in diversity and inclusion under Ginni’s leadership. This included extending parental leave and making it easier for women to return to the workforce through a ‘returnships’ program with hands-on work experience in emerging technologies. This pioneering work was recognized in 2018 by the prestigious Catalyst Award for advancing diversity and women’s initiatives. IBM is the only tech company to have earned this recognition in the past 20 years and the only company ever to be honored four times.

Beginning her career with IBM in 1981, Ginni held a series of leadership positions across the company and led the successful integration of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting, creating a global team of more than 100,000 business consultants and services experts.

Ginni has a Bachelor of Science degree with high honors in computer science and electrical engineering from Northwestern University, where she later was awarded an honorary degree. She also has honorary degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and North Carolina State University.

She serves on the Council on Foreign Relations, the board of trustees of Northwestern University, where she is a Vice Chair, and the boards of overseers and managers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. She is co-chair of the Aspen Institute’s Cyber Group, a member of the advisory board of Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management, and a member of the Singapore Economic Development Board International Advisory Council.

Shundrawn Thomas

Shundrawn A. Thomas is a professional investor and corporate executive with 27 years of high-impact leadership within the world’s premiere financial services institutions. He has earned an industrywide reputation as an innovator in investment management and a champion of diversity equity and inclusion. As an executive, he is a pacesetter in organizational transformation and serves as a trusted strategic advisor to the C-suite and boards of directors. Shundrawn is the Founder and Managing Partner of The Copia Group (TCG), a private investment firm which provides capital solutions for lower middle market companies and drives social impact through the power of scalable businesses.

Prior to founding TCG, Shundrawn served as President of Northern Trust Asset Management, a leading global investment manager with then $1.3 trillion in assets and served as a member of the executive management group of Northern Trust Corporation. His executive roles included Head of FlexShares ETFs, President of Northern Trust Securities, and Head of Corporate Strategy. Prior to joining Northern Trust, Shundrawn

Highly respected for his authentic leadership style, Shundrawn has earned numerous industry accolades over the years. Black Enterprise Magazine identified him as one of 2011’s “75 Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street” and again in 2017 as among the Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America.” In 2020, he was identified by Savoy Magazine as one of the “Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America. In 2021, he was selected as a member of ThinkAdvisor’s 2021 class of industry luminaries and InvestmentNews honored him with a lifetime achievement award for leadership in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Shundrawn completed his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Florida A&M University, where he graduated magna cum laude. He earned his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, with concentrations in accounting and finance. With a lifelong passion for learning, he has also completed executive leadership programs in corporate strategy at Chicago Booth and corporate governance at University of Notre Dame Mendoza School of Business.

Shundrawn serves as a member of the Board of Directors at Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated (NYSE: RGA), a leading global life and health reinsurer and as a trustee for the Financial Accounting Foundation. A devoted husband and father of two sons, Shundrawn is also actively involved in civic organizations serving as a trustee for Rush University Medical Center and Chicago’s Museum of Science & Industry. He is also a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and the Commercial Club of Chicago. Shundrawn is a frequent public speaker, media commentator and lecturer and has authored four books including Discover Joy in Work: Transforming Your Occupation into Your Vocation, published in 2019.

Celeste Warren

Celeste Warren is Vice President, Global Diversity and Inclusion Center of Excellence. As the leader for Merck’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Center of Excellence, she is responsible for working with Merck’s global leaders to advance and embed diversity and inclusion as a strategic approach to maximize business performance and create a competitive advantage.

Ms. Warren joined Merck in 1997 and has held numerous positions of increasing responsibility within its global organization.

Prior to joining Merck in 1997, Celeste worked for nine years in Human Resources at Kraft Foods, Inc. and General Foods.

She has been honored with many awards, including Black Enterprise’s “Top Executives in Global Diversity and Inclusion”, Savoy Magazine’s “Most Influential Women in Corporate America”, “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” and Diversity Global’s “Influential Women in Global Diversity.”

Ms. Warren sits on numerous boards including RWJBarnabas Health and she is a member of the CNBC Workforce Executive Council.

Celeste attended the University of Kentucky where she earned her B.S. degree. She received her Masters Degree from Carnegie Mellon University.

She is the wife of John Warren and the mother of two children, Christina-Celeste and John Steven, Jr.

Bo Young Lee

Bo leads Uber’s Diversity and Inclusion efforts in the company, with our stakeholders, and in the communities where we operate. Bo partners with senior leadership including its CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, to build a work culture where radically diverse and inclusive teams drive innovation, accelerate growth, and build a work culture and systems were all employees have the opportunity to excel and grow to their highest potential. Prior to joining Uber, Bo was the first Global Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the Risk and Insurance Services businesses for Marsh and McLennan Companies. Bo also launched and led Aon/Hewitt Associates’ Global Emerging Workforce Solutions consulting practice and held diversity leadership roles at Ernst & Young and National Grid. Bo also served as a Director of Advisory Services at Catalyst, the leading non-profit focused on the advancement of women in business. As a consultant and thought leader, Bo has enabled dozens of clients to achieve their diversity & inclusion goals. Past clients include Marriott International, Northern Trust, John Deere, Allstate, Booz & Co., Discover, Aon, Human Rights Campaign, and McKesson. Bo has an MBA with distinction from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a BBA magna cum laude from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. She is a frequently sought after speaker and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, MSNBC, Business Insurance, and other media outlets and conferences. She lives in New York City with her husband, daughters, Annabelle and Beatrice, and Betty the dog.

Bonita Stewart

Bonita Stewart is a Board Partner at Gradient Ventures.

In her role, Bonita will advise companies across our portfolio, help hone their go-to-market, and help with Gradient’s board practice.

Bonita comes to Gradient from Google’s Global Partnerships team, where she spent the last seven years overseeing partnerships for the largest US publishers across search, news, media/entertainment, commerce, and mobile apps. Prior to Google, Bonita had an extensive automotive career where she led Chrysler brand advertising, Chrysler Group Interactive Communications, and had a 10-year management career with IBM. Over the past several years she has been recognized for her leadership and most recently, co-authored a book called A Blessing: Women of Color Teaming Up to Lead, Empower and Thrive and released the 2020 Women of Color in Business Cross-Generational Survey.

Bonita serves on two public boards: Deckers and PagerDuty. She co-founded two companies, NiaOnline and One Moment in Time, and is an investor in Operator Collective and Female Founders Fund. Bonita graduated magna cum laude from Howard University and received her MBA from Harvard Business School.

Rashid Davis

Mr. Davis opened P-TECH after fifteen years of experience in New York City public schools, as a teacher, assistant principal and, most recently, the principal of Bronx Engineering and Technology Academy (BETA). Under his leadership, BETA rose to #143 on the Newsweek list of 1500 Top American High Schools, also receiving accolades from US News and World Reports and Good Morning America.

After a rigorous interview process, Davis was selected for this position by consensus of a steering committee made up of the NYC Department of Education, CUNY Early College Initiative, NYC College of Technology and the Corporate Citizenship office of IBM. His passion for education—three masters degrees speak for themselves—as well as an unwavering focus on results make him the ideal candidate to run a pioneering new school like P-TECH. Most importantly, he is a champion for underserved children, creating opportunities where they are limited and ensuring that his kids get nothing but the best.

Rashid Davis is bridging different worlds to create the unique institution that is P-TECH. With the involvement of higher education, the IBM corporation and the Department of Education, he is creating something brand new, which aims to “change generations” through education that is aligned with college and the workplace.

Alex Liu

Alex Liu is the managing partner and chairman of Kearney. A trusted advisor to CEOs and boards, Alex joined Kearney as a partner in 1996 and later served as head of the firm's global Communications, Media & Technology Practice and as a member of the board of directors. He was elected as the firm's ninth managing partner in 2018. He also serves as the firm's chief diversity officer.

Alex has worked with leading firms in the communications, media, and technology sectors in more than 50 countries and in 2015 was named a Top 25 consultant by Consulting magazine. His leadership of client service teams led to multiple Great Client Work awards, the most coveted global recognition within Kearney.

Alex has served as both speaker and co-chair at World Economic Forum (WEF) events, including the Annual Summit in Davos and the WEF on Africa Summit, sharing his perspectives on global trends across a range of fourth industrial revolution and future-workforce topics. He is also a member of the WEF International Business Council (IBC), an advisory body made up of 100 chief executives and chairs representing cross-industry global organizations.

“I stay close to the action, working directly with clients and our project teams,” Alex says. “One of my top priorities is bringing the full force of the firm to each client assignment.”

Alex publishes frequently in business periodicals such as Harvard Business Review, The FT Agenda, Connected Planet, Businessweek, and Fortune and has authored numerous industry papers and articles. He has previously served two terms as a board advisor to Emirates Telecommunications Company (Etisalat).

Prior to joining Kearney, Alex was CEO of a technology startup and a partner with Boston Consulting Group, helping establish the firm’s Asian operations outside of Japan in the 1990s. He began his career in brand management at a subsidiary of Procter & Gamble.

Alex earned an MBA from Harvard University and a BA in economics magna cum laude from Yale University and remains an avid rugby player.

“Our global partnership has never been stronger and confidence is high. We are developing great talent from all sources worldwide and our alumni network is deep and supportive,” Alex notes. “We will be taking even bolder steps as we compete aggressively in today’s dynamic marketplace. We like being the challengers in the industry and will blaze an exciting path to reshape management consulting. In fact, that is precisely what clients are asking us to do.”

Erika Irish Brown

Erika is chief diversity officer, responsible for global diversity and inclusion strategy and driving inclusive culture initiatives and efforts related to the recruitment, retention and advancement of diverse professionals. She joined the firm as a managing director in 2018. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Erika was global head of diversity and inclusion at Bloomberg from 2015 to 2018. Prior to this, she led diversity hiring efforts at Bank of America between 2009 and 2015 and Lehman Brothers between 2005 and 2008. Erika's background includes a range of banking and finance roles, including head of business development for Black Entertainment Television, senior associate in the high yield capital markets group at Morgan Stanley and senior policy analyst for domestic finance for the United States Department of the Treasury. She began her career as an analyst in the public finance department at Lehman Brothers.

Erika is a member of the Executive Leadership Council, vice chair of the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation and serves on the Board of the Riverside Hawks. Erika earned a BS in Economics from the State University of New York at Albany and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Julie Sweet

Julie Sweet is chief executive officer of Accenture and serves on the company’s board of directors.

Prior to becoming CEO in September 2019, Julie served as chief executive officer of Accenture’s business in North America, the company’s largest geographic market. Previously, she was Accenture’s general counsel, secretary and chief compliance officer for five years. Prior to joining Accenture in 2010, Julie was a partner for 10 years in the law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.

Outside of Accenture, Julie is a leader on topics including innovation, technology’s impact on business, and inclusion and diversity. She is a member of the World Economic Forum's International Business Council, the Business Roundtable and the TechNet Executive Council. Julie also serves on the board of directors for Catalyst, the board of trustees for the Center for Strategic & International Studies and the board of trustees for the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities - Bridges from School to Work. In 2019, she was named to FORTUNE’s list of “Most Powerful Women” for the fourth consecutive year.

Julie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Claremont McKenna College and a Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School.

Caroline Wanga

Caroline A. Wanga is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Essence Communications Inc. the independent Black-owned consumer technology company focused on merging content, community, and commerce to meet the evolving cultural and lifestyle needs of people of color.

Most recently, Wanga led Target’s strategic intent to champion an inclusive society with accountability for inclusive guest experiences, a diverse and inclusive work environment and societal impact. As a cultural catalyst, she helped fuel Target’s business objectives through the company’s first-ever performance-based D&I goals, significantly improving areas including Supplier Diversity, Marketing, Philanthropy, Retention, Hiring, Representation and Engagement. She also had responsibility for reshaping Target’s organizational culture.

Wanga began her Target career in supply chain, serving in a variety of transformational leadership roles, including modernizing Supply Chain, Business Intelligence, Digital and Strategy capabilities. Prior to that, she held several leadership roles in the non-profit sector.

Wanga earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from HBCU Texas College and is an inspirational thought leader and public speaker. She has been named a Top Executive in Corporate Diversity by Black Enterprise and one of Savoy’s Most Powerful Women in Corporate America; is a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), the Talladega College Board of Trustees, and the Intersectionality, Culture, and Diversity Advisory Board for Twitter; and is former co-chair of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) Diversity & Inclusion Initiative. Her greatest life accomplishment is her daughter, Cadence.

Crystal Ashby

Crystal Ashby is the Interim President and CEO of The Executive Leadership Council (ELC), the preeminent membership organization for black CEOs, board directors, and the most senior black executives at Fortune 1000, Global 500 and equivalent companies. She leads the organization’s efforts to increase the number of global black executives in C-Suites, on corporate boards, and in global enterprises. She is the first woman president and CEO of the organization and traces her association with The ELC to her participation in the first class of The ELC’s Strengthening the Pipeline leadership development program.

Ms. Ashby is an accomplished senior executive, board member and lawyer with more than 33 years of leadership success, significantly in the energy sector. Her corporate leadership experience was gained over a twenty-two-year career with BP where her roles spanned government and external affairs, law, compliance and ethics, university relations and retail.

Ms. Ashby is an NACD Fellow and member of the International Women’s Forum and has or is currently serving as a Director on the boards of several organizations. Most recently she was Vice Chair of The ELC. She served on the National Board of Genesys Works, the Holocaust Museum Houston Board and the University of Michigan College of Engineering Dean’s Leadership Advisory Board. She recently left the board of the Women Business Collaborative (WBC) and effective January 2020 is a Director on the Board of Texas Reliability Entity, Inc. (Texas RE).

Crystal earned her Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, with a double major in English and Psychology, from the University of Michigan.

Damon Jones

Damon Jones is Chief Communications Officer at Procter & Gamble.

Monique Nelson

Monique Nelson is Chair and Chief Executive Officer of UWG.

Ryan Williams

Prior to founding Cadre in 2014, he worked at The Blackstone Group in its real estate private equity division. At the Blackstone Group, Ryan was involved in over $3 billion in transactions across multiple asset types. Prior to Blackstone, Ryan worked at Goldman Sachs in its technology media group where he worked on transactions totaling more than $5 billion. Ryan founded and launched an institutional real estate single family homes fund in 2009, acquiring, renovating, and selling single family homes throughout the United States while acquiring more than 1,500 multi-family units. Priot to that, he founded a sports technology company. Ryan holds an A.B. from Harvard College.

David Rawlinson

David Rawlinson II became President and CEO of Qurate Retail, Inc. on October 1, 2021. In this position, David leads a select group of seven leading retail brands – QVC®, HSN®, Zulily®, Ballard Designs®, Frontgate®, Garnet Hill®, and Grandin Road® – which together form Qurate Retail GroupSM.

Qurate Retail Group is the largest player in video commerce (“vCommerce”), which includes video-driven shopping across linear TV, ecommerce sites, digital streaming, and social platforms. In 2021, Qurate Retail delivered $14 billion in revenue, served nearly 22 million customers across seven countries, and had thousands of team members worldwide. The retailer reaches more than 200 million homes worldwide via 14 television networks and reaches millions more via multiple streaming services, social pages, mobile apps, websites, print catalogs, and in-store destinations. Qurate Retail ranks as number 216 on the 2021 Fortune 500.

David served as President and CEO-Elect of Qurate Retail, Inc., from August 1 to September 30, 2021. He joined Qurate Retail from NielsenIQ, where he served as CEO and led the company through a transition to new ownership. Prior to that, he was President of Grainger Global Online, where he led the fastest growth, stand-alone division of W.W. Grainger, Inc. (NYSE: GWW). Under David’s direction, Grainger Global Online grew double digits every year and won multiple national awards for workplace culture. Previously, David held executive roles with ITT Exelis, formerly ITT Corp. David also served as a White House Fellow and held various appointed positions under President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. In the Obama Administration, David was a Senior Advisor for Economic Policy with the White House National Economic Council.

David serves on the boards of directors for Qurate Retail, Inc., Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) and NielsenIQ. He previously served on the board of MonotaRO Co. Ltd., a top Japanese e-commerce and industrial retail firm, and Nielsen Holdings (NYSE: NLSN).

David has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a JD from the University of South Carolina School of Law and is a graduate of The Citadel.

Jason Wright

Jason Wright is president of the Washington Football Team. His responsibilities include leading the organization’s business divisions, including operations, finance, sales, and marketing. He is the first Black team president in the history of the NFL and currently is the youngest team president in the League. He is the fourth former NFL player to become president of a team.

Prior to joining the Washington Football Team, Jason was a partner in McKinsey & Company’s Washington DC office. His work focused on expanding the value of large, complex organizations through operations and culture transformations. Jason has specialized in steering companies through their toughest moments- in crisis and turnaround scenarios. Projects have covered topics from systemic personnel misconduct to financial distress to COVID-19 response. Jason also led McKinsey’s global inclusion strategy and recently spearheaded the rollout of McKinsey’s anti-racism and inclusion strategy. He co-founded the Black Economic Institute, a research entity that analyzes the racial wealth gap, and is a prominent voice in public discussions regarding racial equity in corporate America. Jason is also on the Board of Trustees at Union Theological Seminary where he is helping the institution better equip a changing student body focused on community organizing and social entrepreneurship.

Wright spent seven years as a running back in the NFL and was team captain and NFLPA player representative for the Arizona Cardinals during the 2011 NFL Lockout. He has a B.A. in psychology from Northwestern University, where he was an Academic All-American student athlete, a two-time All-Big Ten football selection, and the president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He received his M.B.A. in Operations and Finance, with honors, from the University of Chicago- Booth School of Business.

Jon Fortt

Jon Fortt is co-anchor of CNBC’s “Closing Bell: Overtime” (M-F, 4PM-5PM). He created the weekly segments, “On the Other Hand” on “Squawk Box,” a one-man debate; and “Working Lunch” on “Power Lunch,” which features his in-depth interviews with news making CEOs such as Microsoft’s Sayta Nadella, Amazon’s Andy Jassy, AMD’s Lisa Su and Sanofi’s Paul Hudson.

Previously, he co-anchored CNBC’s “TechCheck” and “Squawk Alley.” Prior to that, he served as an on-air editor based at CNBC’s global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J. Fortt joined CNBC as technology correspondent in July 2010, working from CNBC’s Silicon Valley bureau where he covered the companies, start-ups and trends that are driving innovation in the industry.

Fortt is the creator of Fortt Knox (, a digital show he launched in 2016 that features in-depth 1:1 interviews with founders, CEOs and innovators. In 2020, he created The Black Experience in America: The Course (, an online resource for exploring history and culture.

Fortt came to CNBC from Fortune magazine, where as a senior writer he covered both large technology companies— such as Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft—and trends, including cloud computing and the smartphone revolution. Before joining Fortune in 2007, Fortt was a senior editor at Business 2.0 magazine where he produced the “What Works” section. From 1999 to 2006, Fortt wrote and edited at the San Jose Mercury News, Silicon Valley’s hometown newspaper. There he contributed to several efforts that won awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

Fortt graduated from DePauw University as a Media Fellow, with a B.A. in English.

Follow Jon Fortt on LinkedIn at

Sharon Epperson

Sharon Epperson, named one of “12 to Watch in TV News,” can be seen regularly on CNBC television and other media platforms.

As CNBC’s senior personal finance correspondent, Epperson covers the many facets of how people manage, grow and protect their money. Her expertise includes saving and investing for retirement, paying for college, managing mortgage, student loan, credit card and other debt, and building a financial legacy through estate planning.

Preparing your finances for the unexpected is another critical (and personal) aspect of her reporting. In September 2016, Epperson sustained a ruptured brain aneurysm and she nearly lost her life. She has become a staunch advocate for health and wellness issues, raising awareness about brain aneurysms and funding for research. In September 2018, she and her family established “The Sharon Epperson Chair of Research” through the Brain Aneurysm Foundation to provide grants for research on early detection and innovative treatments.

Epperson is a lead contributor to “Invest in You: Ready. Set. Grow.,” a multi-platform financial wellness and education initiative at CNBC in partnership with the micro-investing app Acorns, and developed its companion 8-week learning course and weekly newsletter, “Invest in You: Money 101.” She also contributes to NBC’s TODAY and NBC Nightly News as well as and

Her book, The Big Payoff: 8 Steps Couples Can Take to Make the Most of Their Money-and Live Richly Ever After, was a finalist for the Books for a Better Life Awards, honoring works that have “changed the lives of millions.” She also was a contributing writer for The Experts’ Guide to Doing Things Faster. Her personal finance expertise has been featured in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, USA Weekend, Self, Essence, Ebony and TIME, where she had covered business, culture, social issues and health as a correspondent prior to joining CNBC.

Epperson has numerous industry and civic awards, including the Special Achievement Award from the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the Savvy Inspiration Award from the non-profit, financial empowerment group Savvy Ladies. She won an Alliance for Women in Media’s Gracie Award for Outstanding Online Host for her “Financial Advisor Playbook” video series on She has received the Vanguard Award for her distinguished career in business and personal finance reporting from the National Urban League Guild, and the All-Star Award from the Association of Women in Communications. She also has won awards from the New York Festivals, the New York Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists.

Epperson is committed to improving financial literacy, particularly in underserved communities. She was invited to the White House during President Obama’s administration to speak about financial literacy and to moderate a public meeting of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability at the U.S. Treasury Department. She also speaks frequently at conferences and events for local and national organizations, colleges and universities about many facets of personal finance.

An adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, Epperson has also taught courses at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. She enjoys teaching the importance of budgeting and building long-term savings as part of her professional development courses for graduate students.

Epperson received her bachelor’s in sociology and government from Harvard University, a master of international affairs degree from Columbia University, and an honorary doctorate from Carlow University in Pittsburgh. A Pittsburgh native, she has also been inducted into the Hall of Fame at Taylor Allderdice High School, her alma mater.

She currently lives with her husband and two children in Westchester County, N.Y.

Andrew Ross Sorkin

Andrew Ross Sorkin is co-anchor of "Squawk Box" (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET), CNBC's signature morning program. Sorkin is also a financial columnist for The New York Times and the editor-at-large of DealBook, a news site he founded that is published by The Times.
Sorkin is the author of the best-selling book, "Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—and Themselves," which chronicled the events of the 2008 financial crisis. The book won the 2010 Gerald Loeb Award for Best Business Book, and was shortlisted for the 2010 Samuel Johnson Prize and the 2010 Financial Times Business Book of the Year Award. The book was adapted as a movie by HBO Films in 2011. Sorkin was a co-producer of the film, which was nominated for 11 Emmy Awards.

Sorkin is also co-creator of the drama series "Billions" on Showtime starring Paul Giamatti and Damien Lewis.

Over the years, Sorkin has broken news on many major mergers and acquisitions, including Chase's acquisition of JPMorgan and Hewlett-Packard's acquisition of Compaq. He also led The Times's coverage of Vodafone's $183 billion hostile bid for Mannesmann, resulting in the world's largest takeover ever.

He won a Gerald Loeb Award in 2004 for breaking the news of IBM's historic sale of its PC business to Lenovo. He was also a finalist in the commentary category for his DealBook column. He won a Society of American Business Editors and Writers Award for breaking news in 2005 and again in 2006. In 2007, the World Economic Forum named him a Young Global Leader. In 2008 and 2009, Vanity Fair named him to its "Next Establishment" list. He was also named to the "Directorship 100," a list of the most influential people on the nation's board of directors. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Sorkin began writing for The New York Times in 1995 under unusual circumstances: He hadn't yet graduated from high school.

He graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. degree in May 1999.


2:00pm EDT

Program Start

Crystal Ashby
, Interim President and CEO, The Executive Leadership Council
Sharon Epperson, Senior Personal Finance Correspondent, CNBC
Jon Fortt, “Squawk Alley” Co-Anchor, CNBC


Moving Forward: Creating Systemic and Sustainable Change
There is no question that this is a unique moment in our history. Never before has such a broad swath of Americans, of every race, supported action to promote racial justice. But how can business leaders turn this moment into a meaningful and lasting change?
Arnold Donald, President and CEO, Carnival 
Shundrawn Thomas President, Northern Trust Asset Management
Caroline Wanga
, Interim CEO, Essence Communications, Inc.
Moderator: Sharon Epperson, Senior Personal Finance Correspondent, CNBC
Watch the full interview


Innovation and Inclusivity
How IBM and P-TECH teamed up to tackle the skills gap and help bring tech jobs to a more diverse community.
Rashid Davis, Founding Principal, P-TECH
Ginni Rometty, Executive Chairman, IBM
Moderator: Jon Fortt, “Squawk Alley” Co-Anchor, CNBC
Watch the full interview


Delivering on the Promise of Opportunity
Research has shown that diverse teams outperform, so how can companies develop their talent pools and pipelines to create a more diverse workforce at every level? From recruitment to pay equity to promotion we’ll strategies and solutions to cultivate diversity at every level.
Bo Young Lee, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Uber
Michael Hyter, Chief Diversity Officer, Korn Ferry
Celeste Warren, Vice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion Center of Excellence, Merck 
Moderator: Jon Fortt, “Squawk Alley” Co-Anchor, CNBC
Watch the full interview


The Follow Up: Making Good on the Commitment
Companies made bold statements this summer acknowledging issues on race and inclusion. Now they must move beyond words and into action. What can stakeholders do to ensure follow through?
Alex Liu, Managing Partner and Chairman, Kearney
David Rawlinson, CEO, Nielsen Connect
Julie Sweet,
CEO, Accenture
Moderator: Sharon Epperson, Senior Personal Finance Correspondent, CNBC
Watch the full interview


Race and Gender: The Unique Path of Black Women
For all the advances made by women in corporations, the data reveals a stark truth… black women in corporate America have been largely left behind. We’ll get insights from women who blazed their own trail and the lessons learned on the way.
Erika Irish Brown, Chief Diversity Officer, Goldman Sachs
Monique Nelson
, Chair and CEO, UWG
Bonita Stewart,
Vice President, Global Partnerships, Google
Moderator: Sharon Epperson, Senior Personal Finance Correspondent, CNBC
Watch the full interview


The Next Generation
Sustainable, successful change needs stalwart champions and fresh eyes to see it through. We’ll hear from three influential, insightful and important voices on how this new generation will continue to push for equity and opportunity for all.
Morgan DeBaun, Founder and CEO, Blavity
Jason Wright, President, Washington Football Team
Ryan Williams, Co-Founder and CEO, Cadre
Moderator: Andrew Ross Sorkin, “Squawk Box” Co-Anchor, CNBC
Watch the full interview


While companies are pledging millions of dollars to the cause of racial equality, there is also a recognition that money and platitudes are no longer enough. Sustainable, systemic change is needed.


We’ll discuss the quantitative and qualitative metrics and data that can inform diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.


This live virtual event will focus on practical solutions with results that are measurable, transparent and sustainable for corporate leaders to put into action in their organizations.



Visit us at to learn more and tune into the event.