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Company Board of Directors

Our company board of directors provides strategic guidance to us in every facet of our business.

Paget Alves

Paget Alves

Former Chief Sales Officer
Sprint Communications Corporation
Paget served as chief sales officer for Sprint Communications Corporation from 2012 to 2013 after serving as president of the Business Markets Group since 2009. During his 14 year career at Sprint, he held several senior executive positions including senior vice president of Enterprise Markets and president of Strategic Markets. Prior to Sprint, Paget served as president and chief executive officer of PointOne Telecommunications as well as president and chief operating officer of Centennial Communications. He serves on the boards of Yum! Brands, Synchrony Financial, International Game Technology and Assurant Inc. Paget earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Labor Relations and a Juris Doctor degree from Cornell Law School.

Charles K. Bobrinskoy

Vice Chairman, Head of Investment Group
Ariel Investments
Charlie manages our focused value strategy—an all-cap, concentrated portfolio of U.S. stocks. He also spearheads Ariel’s thought leadership efforts and takes an active role in representing Ariel’s investment strategies with prospective investors, clients and major media. Prior to joining Ariel in 2004, Charlie spent 21 years as an investment banker at Salomon Brothers and its successor company Citigroup, where he rose to managing director and head of North American investment banking branch offices. Charlie actively serves the Chicago community, sitting on the corporate boards of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and InnerWorkings, Inc., as well as the boards of the Museum of Science and Industry, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation Board, the Big Shoulders Fund and the Chicago Club. He also teaches monthly investing classes at two Chicago inner-city schools. Charlie graduated with an AB in economics from Duke University and earned an MBA from the University of Chicago.
Leslie A. Brun

Leslie A. Brun

Chairman and CEO
Sarr Group, LLC
Les is chairman and CEO of Sarr Group, LLC, a diversified holding company for his investments and is senior advisor of G100 Companies, a unique business partnership that combines the world’s best C-level learning communities with premier professional services firms. Les brings over 40 years of expertise in investment banking, commercial banking and financial advisory services. In 2019, he received the Industry Icon Award and was inducted into the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Business Hall of Fame. In 2015, he was recognized by NACD as one of America’s top 100 corporate directors. Previously, Les was a managing director at CCMP Capital Advisors. He also founded and was chairman emeritus of Hamilton Lane, the world’s leading private equity advisory and management firm. Currently, Les is chairman of the board of directors of CDK Global, a lead director of Merck & Co., Inc. and Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc., where he had been chairman of the board. Additionally, he serves on the board of directors of Corning, Inc. and was formerly chairman of the board of directors of Automatic Data Processing, Inc. and chair of the compensation committee at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Les is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He functioned as chairman of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s S.B.I.C. Advisory Council and had been a member of the Committee for the Reinvention of the S.B.A. Les sat on the board of directors of the Richcourt Group, a Hamilton Lane company specializing in hedge fund of funds management. Formerly, he was a trustee for the University at Buffalo Foundation, Inc., Widener University, and Episcopal Academy in Merion, PA. Les graduated with a BS from the State University of New York at Buffalo where he has been recognized as a distinguished alumnus.
Martijn Cremers

Martijn Cremers, PhD

Dean of the Mendoza College of Business
University of Notre Dame
Professor Cremers serves as the Martin J. Gillen Dean of the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame since July 2019. He has been on the faculty at Notre Dame since 2012, and was appointed the Bernard J. Hank Professor of Finance in 2018. Previously, he was a faculty member of the Yale School of Management for 10 years. His paper, “How active is your fund manager? A new measure that predicts performance” (published in 2009 in the Review of Financial Studies) introduced “Active Share”, a new measure of active management. This innovative analysis is based on a comparison of fund holdings versus those of its benchmark and has become widely adopted throughout the financial industry. He has an undergraduate degree in Econometrics from the Free University Amsterdam and earned his PhD in Finance from the Stern School of Business at New York University.
Arne Duncan

Arne Duncan

Managing Partner
Emerson Collective
As managing partner at Emerson Collective, former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan returns to Chicago on a mission to improve the lives of at-risk young adults in his hometown. Established by Laurene Powell Jobs, Emerson Collective centers its work on education, immigration reform, the environment and other social justice initiatives. Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Arne served as chief executive officer of Chicago Public Schools. From 2001 to 2008, he won praise for uniting the city’s stakeholders behind an education agenda that included opening 100 new schools; expanding after-school, summer learning, early childhood, and college access programs; and building public-private partnerships around a variety of education initiatives. Arne graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1987, majoring in sociology.
Mellody Hobson

Mellody Hobson

Co-CEO & President
Ariel Investments
Chair of the Board of Trustees
Ariel Investment Trust
As Co-CEO, Mellody is 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. Prior to being named Co-CEO, Mellody spent nearly two decades as the firm’s President. Outside of Ariel, Mellody is a nationally recognized voice on financial literacy. She has conducted extensive research on minority investing patterns and pens a column for Black Enterprise Magazine. Her leadership has also been invaluable to corporate boardrooms across the nation. She currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Starbucks Corporation; a director of JPMorgan Chase; and a director of Quibi, a short-form video content company. She previously served as Chairman of the Board of DreamWorks Animation until the company’s sale and was also a long-standing board member of the Estée Lauder Companies. Mellody’s community outreach includes her role as Chairman of After School Matters, a Chicago non-profit that provides area teens with high-quality after school and summer programs. Additionally, she is vice chair of World Business Chicago; co-chair of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art; and a board member of the George Lucas Education Foundation. She also serves on the board at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Mellody is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, The Rockefeller Foundation Board of Trustees, and serves on the executive committee of the Investment Company Institute. Mellody earned her AB from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations and Public Policy. In 2019, she was awarded the University’s highest honor, the Woodrow Wilson Award, presented annually to a Princeton graduate whose career embodies a commitment to national service. She has also received honorary doctorate degrees from Howard University, Johns Hopkins University, St. Mary’s College, and the University of Southern California. In 2015, Time Magazine named her one of the “100 Most Influential People” in the world.
Valerie Jarrett

Valerie Jarrett

Former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama
Valerie is a Senior Distinguished Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School and author of the New York Times bestselling book Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward. She serves on the boards of 2U, Lyft, the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and the Economic Club of Chicago. Additionally, Valerie is a Senior Advisor to the Obama Foundation as well as ATTN:, a Los Angeles-based media firm. Valerie was the longest serving Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, and championed the creation of equality and opportunity for all Americans as she oversaw the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls. Valerie has a background in both the public and private sectors: she served as the Chief Executive Officer of The Habitat Company in Chicago, Commissioner of Planning and Development, and Deputy Chief of Staff for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. Valerie serves as Board Chair of When We All Vote and Co-Chair of The United State of Women, and has served as the director of numerous corporate and not-for-profit boards including Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Stock Exchange, Chairman of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees, Vice Chairman of the University of Chicago Board of Trustees, Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and Chair of Chicago Transit Board. She received her B.A. from Stanford University in 1978 and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981.

John W. Rogers, Jr.

Chairman, Co-CEO & Chief Investment Officer
Ariel Investments  
John’s passion for investing began at age 12 when his father began buying him stocks as Christmas and birthday gifts. His interest in equities grew at Princeton University, where he majored in economics, and over the two-plus years he worked as a stockbroker for William Blair & Company, LLC. In 1983, John founded Ariel to focus on patient, value investing within small- and medium-sized companies. While our research capabilities have expanded across the globe, patience is still the disciplined approach that drives the firm today. Early in his career, John’s investment acumen brought him to the forefront of media attention and culminated in him being selected as Co-Mutual Fund Manager of the Year by Sylvia Porter’s Personal Finance magazine as well as an All-Star Mutual Fund Manager by USA TODAY. Furthermore, John has been highlighted alongside legendary investors Warren Buffett, Sir John Templeton and Ben Graham in the distinguished book: The World’s 99 Greatest Investors by Magnus Angenfelt. His professional accomplishments extend to the boardroom where he is a member of the board of directors of McDonald’s, NIKE and The New York Times Company. John also serves as vice chair of the board of trustees of the University of Chicago. Additionally, he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a director of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. In 2008, John was awarded Princeton University’s highest honor, the Woodrow Wilson Award, presented each year to the alumnus or alumna whose career embodies a commitment to national service. Following the election of President Barack Obama, John served as co-chair for the Presidential Inaugural Committee 2009, and more recently, he joined the Barack Obama Foundation’s Board of Directors. John received an AB in economics from Princeton University, where he was also captain of the varsity basketball team.

Robert I. Solomon

Software Platform Consulting, Inc.
Bob is the CEO of Software Platform Consulting, Inc. (SPCI), a company specializing in helping software companies build cloud-based, multi-sided platforms. Prior to joining SPCI, Bob served in a variety of senior leadership roles for ServiceChannel, Ariba, Inc., The Silliker Laboratories Group, Inc. and The NutraSweet Company. He began his career at The Boston Consulting Group. He is a board member of several software companies, including Bamboo Rose LLC, LeaseAccelerator, Eved LLC, XSB, Inc., Enverus and OEConnection. Bob graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University with an AB in economics. He received his MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar.
Heather Tookes

Heather Tookes, PhD

Professor of Finance
Yale School of Management
Professor Tookes has been on the faculty of Yale School of Management since 2004. She has held a number of academic posts at Yale, including Associate Professor of Finance, and Assistant Professor of Finance. Prior to Yale, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Finance at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management. Much of Professor Tookes’ research focuses on credit and credit-linked derivatives markets. She also studies various aspects of corporate finance, including a recent paper that identifies the valuation effects of initial public offerings on rival firms. Professor Tookes received her BA in Economics from Brown and her PhD in Finance from Cornell. She is a member of the FINRA Economic Advisory Committee and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Financial Advisory Round Table.

David J. Vitale

Former Chairman
Urban Partnership Bank
David is the former chairman of Urban Partnership Bank. Prior to that, he served as chief administrative officer and senior advisor to the CEO of the Chicago Public Schools. Previously, he was president of the Chicago Board of Education, president and chief executive officer of the Chicago Board of Trade, and a former vice chairman and director of Bank One Corporation. David is currently a director of United Airlines and Chairman of several Duff & Phelps investment company funds. He also serves as trustee of Leadership Greater Chicago; the Museum of Science and Industry; the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago; and vice chairman of the board of The Art Institute of Chicago. Additionally, he sits on the board of Wheels, Inc. David is a graduate of Harvard University and earned an MBA from The University of Chicago.

Paula Wolff

Illinois Justice Project
Paula serves as Policy Advisor to the Illinois Justice Project, a civic organization implementing policy initiatives and programs to improve the justice system. Formerly, she served as president of Governors State University and director of policy for Governor James R. Thompson. She has taught public policy at Governors State University and Irving B. Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. Paula has a BA from Smith College, as well as an MA and a PhD from the University of Chicago in political science. She serves on various boards including Vice President of the Chicago Police Board, the University of Chicago Medical Center, the University of Chicago, the Johnson Foundation, the Metropolitan Planning Council and the Joyce Foundation, and recently chaired the Illinois Tollway and Chicago City College Boards.
Past performance does not guarantee future results. © Ariel Investments, LLC. This website and all of its content is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be considered to be investment advice or a recommendation to buy or sell any particular security. The mutual funds offered by Ariel Investment Trust are distributed by Ariel Distributors, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ariel Investments, LLC. Use of this website is subject to our Terms & Conditions. The Ariel mutual funds referred to in this site may be offered only to persons in the United States. This web site should not be considered a solicitation or offering of any investment products, funds or services to ineligible investors, investors for whom such products, funds or services are not suitable, or investors outside the United States.

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