Mellody L. Hobson has served as the president and a director of Ariel Capital Management, LLC, a Chicago-based investment management firm, and as the chairman (since 2006) and a Trustee (since 2000) of Ariel Mutual Funds. Ariel Capital Management is one of the largest African 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 is chairman of the board for DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. She serves on the board of The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. and Starbucks Corporation. She also serves 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.