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Kellie A. McElhaney

Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Equity, Gender and Leadership (EGAL)

Dr. McElhaney is the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Equity, Gender and Leadership (EGAL) and is on the faculty at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. She also runs her own Equity Fluent Leadership consultancy and advisory services for businesses, boards, and non-profits. She is as comfortable, confident, and impactful in the boardroom as she is in the classroom.

A passionate believer in the potential and power of business to make positive change, Kellie has spent her career in that pursuit. Through provocative thought-leadership, evidence-based storytelling, and courageous and bold action, Kellie has challenged and supported business leaders, organizations and students to address some of society’s biggest challenges and win in the marketplace. Notably, she was the founder of the Center for Equity, Gender and Leadership in 2017 and the Center of Responsible Business in 2003. As such, Kellie is a much sought-after global keynote speaker, corporate / c-suite advisor, strategy consultant, mentor, and professor.

Kellie has been the featured speaker at events including: TED, Fortune Most Powerful Women, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Milliken Institute, CALSTRS, Network of Executive Women, Financial Professionals Association and multiple corporate CEO Summits. She has been dubbed a Chief Agitation, Inspiration Officer and a CEO Whisperer.

The Center for Equity, Gender and Leadership has as its mission educating equity fluent leadersä (EFL) to ignite and accelerate change. EFLs understand the value of different lived experiences and courageously use their power to address barriers, increase access, and drive change for positive impact. Kellie helped develop this leadership construct and teaches it across the country and globe, from the U.S. to Europe to the Middle East. Haas graduates over 1,000 leaders a year; and EGAL will ensure that they are all equity fluent. The center also partners with the corporate sector training mid- to executive-level business leaders through the EFL Academy, produces EFL playbooks, and guides companies along their strategic journey towards equity fluent leadership.

Kellie also founded the Center for Responsible Business (CRB), solidifying corporate responsibility as a core competency and competitive advantage of Berkeley-Haas. Due to Kellie’s leadership, Haas was rated #1 in the world for corporate responsibility by The Financial Times. She received the Founder and Visionary Award at Haas in 2013 for this work.

Kellie authored the book entitled Just Good Business: The Strategic Guide to Aligning Corporate Responsibility and Brand. She also writes numerous case studies of companies who are investing in diversity and inclusion (Wal-Mart, Gap, Inc., Boston Consulting Group, Zendesk), and conducts research in the areas of equal pay, conscious inclusion, equity fluent leadership, and value-creating strategies of diversity and inclusion. Her Gap, Inc. Equal Pay case won the California Management Review Case of the Year in 2017. She was named one of the Bay Area’s Most Influential Women in 2019 by the S.F. Business Times.

Kellie’s consulting clients include: Ernst & Young, Google, Levi Strauss & Co, NVIDIA, Gap, Inc., Women’s Initiative Foundation (France), Orrick, VimpelCom (Netherlands), KAUST (Saudi Arabia), Nokia (Finland), NetGear, CALSTRS, Driscoll Berries, GE Oil & Gas, Ulster Bank (Ireland), Accenture, Chevron, Pandora, Aboitiz (Philippines) and Outotec (Finland).

Kellie serves on the Board of Directors for Sierra Europe Offshore, LTD., Athleta-Ed, the Empower Her Network, as well as the Gender Equity Diversity Subcommittee of the University of California Athletics Board. She is also an investor in Operator Collective, a powerful collective of diverse LPs with a focus on getting more diversity in to the venture ecosystem.

Kellie lives in Oakland, California and has two college-aged daughters. She earned her B.A. from the University of North Carolina, her M.A. from Ohio University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Earlier in her career Kellie worked in retail banking in commercial lending, acquisitions and corporate leadership development.