FUNDING AREAS: K-12 education, STEM education, global health, U.S. health
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PROFILE: Deborah A. Elam (Deb) is a long-time GE loyalist. She's been with the company since 1987, when she joined up as an intern. Elam has been GE's chief diversity officer since 2002, and in October 2013 added a dual role as the GE Foundation's President.
Here is Elam's background, as presented in the press release at the time of her foundation appointment:
Elam has been GE’s chief diversity officer since 2002. Prior to that, she was the managing director of Human Resources at GE Capital Commercial Finance. Previously, she held Human Resources roles in GE Consulting Services, GE Capital Mortgage Corp., GE Capital Insurance Services and GE Capital Markets Services. She joined GE in 1987 as an intern and is a graduate of GE’s Human Resources Leadership Program. Elam was appointed a GE company officer in 2006, making her one of the most senior women in the company.
Elam holds leadership roles in GE’s African American Forum and the GE Women’s Network. She is a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC)—an organization of the top African Americans in Corporate America and the National Black MBA Association.
At the time of her ascension to the foundation presidency, Jeff Immelt, GE's Chairman and CEO, had this to say:
I have chosen Deb to lead the GE Foundation, in addition to GE’s diversity outreach, given her proven ability to connect employees and drive our impact locally around the world. In her new expanded role, Deb will help bring GE employees closer to their communities while maintaining diversity and inclusiveness as an essential part of our productivity, creativity, innovation and competitive advantage.
Elam in a native of New Orleans. She has a bachelor's degree in sociology from Louisiana State Universitye and a masters' degree in public administration from Southern University.