American Express today announced the appointment of Valerie Grillo as the company's Chief Diversity Officer, overseeing the Global Diversity and Inclusion team.
As the Chief Diversity Officer, Grillo will be responsible for ensuring that American Express remains an employer of choice and enables innovation by creating and maintaining an inclusive environment – both internally and externally. American Express' commitment to diversity began nearly three decades ago as the company strives to create an employee base that is as diverse as the customers and communities it serves.
"The role of Chief Diversity Officer is to shape how we continue to attract, develop, and retain diverse talent – ultimately creating an environment in which all people have a voice and can succeed," said Ed Gilligan, President, American Express. "Valerie has been essential in building this culture of inclusion at American Express over the past nine years, and I'm thrilled to have her now lead the diversity team and our efforts globally."
"I am really excited to take on a role that focuses on building diverse talent at American Express that reflects the next generation workforce and customers that we serve," says Grillo. "Building exceptional diverse talent directly correlates to us delivering bottom line growth as a company."
Some of the key Diversity and Inclusion 2013 initiatives will include continuing the Women in the Pipeline and at the Top initiative to break down barriers to develop and advance women to the highest levels of the company and evolving the legacy of our 16 employee-led networks, which are responsible for developing and driving strategies that support our business and deliver value to our employees and customers. The role will also require Grillo to dedicate her time to provide 1-on-1 coaching with our senior leadership.
Grillo succeeds Jennifer Christie, who held the position of Chief Diversity for over two years. During that time, Christie built upon the momentum to enhance American Express' internal and external employer brand. She was instrumental in evolving the women’s initiatives and leading the company’s second Women’s Conference for the 200 most senior female executives at the company. Christie was recently appointed to Vice President, Human Resources Business Partner for the company’s Enterprise Growth Group.
In her nine-year tenure, Grillo has held numerous global Human Resources talent and leadership positions. Most recently, Grillo led Global Leadership Development at American Express. She and her team were focused on building great leaders at all levels of the organization, from front-line employees to the senior most executives. She was the architect behind American Express' Global Leadership curriculum, which is a series of development experiences for the company's 12,000 people leaders helping them to build the leadership and business skills necessary for success.
Grillo serves as a co-chair for the Task Force for Talent Innovation at the Center for Talent Innovation. She holds an M.A. in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University and a B.A. with Honors from Brown University. She resides in Rockland County, NY with her husband and two young daughters.
About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, foursquare.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/companies/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.