Mellody Hobson Lucas is Co-CEO and president, responsible for management, strategic planning and growth for all areas of Ariel Investments outside of research and portfolio management. Additionally, she serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ariel Investment Trust—the company’s publicly traded mutual funds. Ariel Capital Management is one of the largest Black American owned money management and mutual fund companies in the U.S.
Ms. Hobson is responsible for firm wide management and strategic planning, overseeing all operations of Ariel's business outside of research and portfolio management. Last fall, she was elected Chairman of Ariel Mutual Funds Board of Trustees. She previously served as senior vice president and director of marketing at Ariel Capital Management, Inc. from 1994 to 2000, and as vice president of marketing at Ariel Capital Management, Inc. from 1991 to 1994.
Ms. Hobson has become an important and nationally recognized voice on financial literacy and investor education. She is a regular financial contributor on ABC's Good Morning America and a spokesperson for the annual Ariel/Schwab Black Investor Survey, which examines the investing habits of Black and White Americans. She was named one of The Wall Street Journal's 50 Women to Watch 2004 list and TIME magazines 2004 Global Business Influentials.
Ms. Hobson serve as the non-executive chair of the board of Starbucks Corporation. She currently serves as a director for JPMorgan Chase and has previously been on the boards of Estee Lauder and DreamWorks Animation.
She also served as chairman of After School Matters, a non-profit that provides Chicago teens with high-quality, out-of-school time programs. She is a board member of The Chicago Public Education Fund, George Lucas Education Foundation, Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, and Sundance Institute, where she has been appointed emeritus trustee. She is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and serves on the executive committee of the Investment Company Institute’s board of governors. In 2015, Mellody was named to Time magazine’s annual list of the one hundred most influential people in the world.
Mellody earned her A.B. from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations and Public Policy. She graduated from Chicago's St. Ignatius College Prep in 1987.
She is married (2013) to billionaire film director George Lucas. They are signers of the Bill Gates & Warren Buffett initiative known as the Giving Pledge. The Giving Pledge is a commitment by the world's wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to giving back.