News Column

AmEx Names Grillo as Chief Diversity Officer

May 7, 2013

Staff Reports--HispanicBusiness

Valerie Grillo

American Express this week announced Valerie Grillo as the company's chief diversity officer.

She will oversee the Global Diversity and Inclusion team and be responsible for ensuring that American Express remains an employer of choice and maintains an inclusive environment, internally and externally.

"For a customer-centric organization to out-innovate and win in today's marketplace, it must have an internal organization rich in diversity with employees who model the very customers it aims to serve," Grillo told "Leveraging the unique insights and experiences within American Express means that we can foster an environment where the most innovative and brightest people want to work, build careers and succeed."

Key diversity and inclusion initiatives will include continuing the "Women in the Pipeline and at the Top" initiative to develop and advance women to the highest levels of the company. The role will also require Grillo to dedicate her time to provide one-on-one coaching with senior leadership.

"The role of chief diversity officer is to shape how we continue to attract, develop and retain diverse talent," Ed Gilligan, president, American Express, said in a statement. "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."

Grillo succeeds Jennifer Christie, who held the position of Chief Diversity for more tha ntwo years, and was recently appointed to vice president, Human Resources Business Partner for the company's Enterprise Growth Group.

"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," Grillo said. "Building exceptional diverse talent directly correlates to us delivering bottom-line growth as a company."

In her nine-year tenure, Grillo has held numerous talent and leadership positions. Most recently, she led Global Leadership Development at American Express, which focused on building leaders at all levels of the organization, from front-line employees to senior 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."

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, N.Y., with her husband and two young daughters.

Source: (c) 2013. All rights reserved.

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