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Renowned CEO Thasunda Brown Duckett to Speak at American University’s Fall Commencement

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Thasunda Brown Duckett, CEO of TIAA

Thasunda Brown Duckett, a leader in American business, philanthropy, and education, will deliver a keynote address at American University’s two fall commencement ceremonies on Sunday, December 18, 2022. Duckett is the president and chief executive officer of TIAA, a top provider of secure retirements and outcome-focused investment solutions, and only the fourth Black woman to lead a Fortune 500 company.

Approximately 850 graduates will receive their degrees from all eight of AU’s schools and programs at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in Bender Arena on the AU campus. Duckett will receive an honorary degree.

“Thasunda Brown Duckett embodies the AU changemaker spirit in her leadership, her community engagement, and her commitment to making a positive impact,” said AU President Sylvia M. Burwell. “Her charge and lessons to our graduates will be a fitting capstone to their AU experience, where they prepared for lives of purpose through hard work and support from our expert faculty, dedicated staff, and unique community of changemakers.”

Prior to joining TIAA in 2021, Duckett served as chief executive officer of Chase Consumer Banking. Previously, she was CEO of Chase Auto Finance and National Retail Sales Executive for Chase Mortgage Banking. Earlier in her career, she was Director of Emerging Markets at Fannie Mae.  

Currently, Duckett serves on the boards of NIKE Inc., Brex Inc., the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Foundation, Sesame Workshop, the National Medal of Honor Museum, the Economic Club of New York, and the advisory board for Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business. She is a member of the Executive Leadership Council, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and Jack and Jill of America Inc., and serves on the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), The Business Council, Business Roundtable, and the Committee for Economic Development of the Conference Board.

Thasunda founded the Otis and Rosie Brown Foundation, in honor of her parents, to recognize and reward people who use ordinary means to empower and uplift their community in extraordinary ways. She is passionate about helping communities of color close achievement gaps in wealth creation, educational outcomes and career success.

"It's an honor to mark this incredibly special milestone with the fall class of 2022," said Thasunda Brown Duckett, president and CEO of TIAA. "These graduates are entering a rapidly changing world, but with their continued resilience and strong foundation of their AU education, they're well-positioned to become the leaders who will shape a more united and equitable future. I look forward to celebrating their achievements."