An honor presented by Metro Service Group Celebrating Accomplishments!
NEW ORLEANS – Deborah Augustine Elam recently retired as president of the GE Foundation and chief diversity officer for GE after 30 years of service. Elam earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Louisiana State University (LSU) and a Master of Public Administration from Southern University in Baton Rouge. She received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Clarkson University for her steadfast focus on individual talents and potential; for building teams that can do more than their members could accomplish separately; for elevating diversity and inclusion to a corporate value now shared by organizations worldwide; and for her service to all who believe in and work for a better future.
While in graduate school, Elam secured an internship with General Electric (GE) in Rockville, MD. Upon graduation, in 1987, she joined GE’s world renowned Human Resources Leadership Program. Over the next 15 years, Deborah was promoted to successively larger human resources roles in various GE divisions across the United States.
In 2002, she assumed the leadership role for diversity globally across GE. In 2006, GE’s Board of Directors appointed Elam an officer, making her one of the most senior women in the company. She expanded her role to lead the GE Foundation in 2013. In her combined role, Elam worked at the GE Corporate Headquarters in Fairfield, Connecticut and led efforts globally to bring GE employees closer to their communities while maintaining diversity and inclusiveness as an essential part of GE’s competitive advantage.
Outside of work and spending time with her daughters, Katherine and Alexandra, Elam 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. She has held a variety of leadership roles in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated; The Links, Incorporated; and Jack and Jill of America. Elam is also former Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees at Ursuline Academy of New Orleans. She served as a Trustee for seven years during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Among Elam’s many honors, she has received the Enhancing Perceptions in Culture Award by the White House Project and the Women of Power Award, which is given by the National Urban League to influential women in the civil rights, government, entertainment, journalism, sports and corporate sectors. She is also a recipient of the Keeper of the Dream Award presented by Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network. In 2005, The Network Journal Magazine named her one of Twenty-Five Most Influential Black Women in Business.
Elam was chosen by the Ursuline Alumnae Association of New Orleans, with the approval of the Academy President and the Ursuline Sisters, to be the 2015 Ursuline Distinguished Alumna. This award is annually bestowed upon a graduate of Ursuline Academy or Ursuline College of New Orleans who demonstrates the core values and ideals of an Ursuline education in all aspects of her life. Since 1986, 47 women have received this honor, making it one of Ursuline’s most prestigious awards. Ursuline Academy is proud to call Deborah Augustine Elam a Distinguished Alumna.
In February of 2017, Elam’s professional expertise, volunteer experience and her longstanding dedication of LSU led to her appointment to the LSU Foundation Board of Directors. The LSU Foundation cultivates and invests in philanthropic partnerships to advance LSU’s academic priorities.
Marc Morial, former New Orleans Mayor and President/CEO of National Urban League described Deb as “one of the best examples of Ursuline’s success in shaping strong, forward-thinking women leaders.”
New Orleans’ current Mayor Mitch Landrieu stated, “On many occasions, Deborah has volunteered to work with the City of New Orleans on important issues from our efforts to increase economic opportunity for the unemployed to our efforts to engage former residents of New Orleans in the commemoration of the City’s 300th Anniversary in 2018. She embodies the values of Ursuline Academy, particularly, her commitment to life of service to others.”
Deborah Augustine Elam
In keeping with our tradition of celebrating accomplishments, we proudly extend to you…
A METRO Salute!
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