Investment firm president Mellody Hobson will be the first black woman to chair the board of directors of the Economic Club of Chicago.
The 90-year-0ld civic organization announced Monday night that Hobson, president of Ariel Investments,has been selected chair, effective July 1.
She succeeds Ilene S. Gordon, chairman, president and CEO of Ingredion Inc., whose two-year term ends June 30. Gordon’s tenure marked the first time a woman has led the organization since it was founded in 1927.
“It is an honor to be selected as chair of this esteemed organization,” Hobson said in a statement. “Through my involvement with the ECC, I have had the opportunity to meet and learn from some of the world’s greatest leaders, entrepreneurs and creative minds. I look forward to shaping an agenda that inspires and engages the next generation.”
Hobson, named to Time magazine’s list of “The 100 Most Influential People of 2015,” was one of the youngest members to ever join the Economic Club over 20 years ago. She is a director at The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. and Starbucks Corp. Shealso serves as chairwomanof After School Matters and is aboard member of The Chicago Public Education Fund.
Her husband is Star Wars creator George Lucas. She serves on the board of George Lucas Education Foundation and the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, and the Sundance Institute, where she has been appointed emeritus trustee.
The economic club describes her as a “nationally recognized voice on financial literacy and investor education.”
“The Club has 90 years of history filled with dynamic discussion among some of the world’s most critical thinkers,” Gordon said. “Mellody shares the board’s vision for continuing to build on this history for the Club’s future success.”