Depelsha McGruder, a prominent figure in the philanthropic world, has been making waves as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Ford Foundation. With her unwavering commitment to social justice and her extensive expertise, McGruder has played a pivotal role in the foundation's recent achievements and continues to drive positive change on a global scale.
As COO of the Ford Foundation, she is responsible for overseeing the foundation's operations, which include managing a diverse and talented team and ensuring the effective execution of the foundation's mission.
Under McGruder's guidance, the Ford Foundation has achieved significant milestones in recent years. One notable accomplishment has been the foundation's commitment to combating inequality.
She has made significant contributions to organizations such as New York Public Radio (NYPR), Viacom, and various boards and associations, all while championing causes that positively impact the lives of black boys and men.
Depelsha joined NYPR in 2020, assuming the role of Chief Operating Officer. In this position, she was responsible for overseeing the internal operations and strategic planning of renowned media entities like WNYC, WQXR, Gothamist.com, The Greene Space, and New Jersey Public Radio.
Before her tenure at NYPR, Depelsha enjoyed a successful 17-year career at Viacom. Throughout her time there, she held senior leadership positions at both MTV and BET Networks.
Moreover, Depelsha's entrepreneurial spirit led her to develop and operate two cable television networks dedicated to serving underrepresented Latino, African American, and youth audiences. Under her guidance, these networks experienced remarkable growth in both audience engagement and revenue.
And before her groundbreaking work at Viacom, Depelsha honed her skills as a broadcast journalist. She began her career as an on-air reporter, anchor, and producer for two commercial television stations in Georgia. This early experience allowed her to cultivate a deep understanding of the media industry and paved the way for her future leadership roles.
Beyond her professional accomplishments, Depelsha is renowned for her commitment to social change. She is the founder and president of Moms of Black Boys United and MOBB United for Social Change, sister organizations dedicated to positively influencing how black boys and men are perceived and treated by law enforcement and society at large. Her tireless efforts in this area reflect her dedication to creating a more equitable and inclusive world.
In addition to her advocacy work, Depelsha serves on several esteemed boards, including Howard University, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, the Billie Holiday Theatre, the Harvard Business School Club of New York, Oaktree Capital Management, and Classy. These appointments reflect her dedication to education, community development, and the arts.
Depelsha is also a proud alumna of Howard University, where she graduated first in her class with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism. She later earned an MBA from Harvard Business School, further equipping her with the business acumen necessary for her successful career.
Outside of her professional and philanthropic endeavors, Depelsha finds joy in her personal life. She is married and has two sons, aged 10 and 6. She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and The Links, Inc. In recognition of her exceptional achievements, Depelsha was honored with The Network Journal's "40 Under Forty Achievers Award" in 2011, a testament to her impact and influence.
Depelsha McGruder's multifaceted career and commitment to social change have positioned her as a respected leader, advocate, and role model. Her accomplishments in the media industry, dedication to improving the lives of black boys and men, and involvement in numerous boards and organizations exemplify her commitment to creating a more equitable and inclusive society.