Blair Taylor Named CEO of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance

Global leader widely recognized for innovative and creative approach to community transformation

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBKA) announced Blair Taylor as its new CEO. Taylor will join MBKA in April 2016.

MBKA was launched in the Spring of 2015 as an independent private sector effort in response to President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, which was created to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure all youth can reach their full potential. Former Deloitte CEO, Joe Echevarria, led the effort to form MBKA with a group of like-minded peers, as an opportunity to elevate the conversation, and utilize strategic, evidence-based interventions from community, private, and social enterprise partners that tackle the achievement gaps from cradle to career.

Taylor currently serves as chief community officer at Starbucks and president of the Starbucks Foundation Board of Directors. In his current role, he leads Starbucks’ community investments and programs. Over the past four years, Blair and his teams have contributed to its long-standing social impact efforts, including the College Achievement Plan Solutions City(SM) initiative and the launch of the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, a coalition of more than 35 companies committed to hiring 100,000 Opportunity Youth by 2018.

MBKA Board Chair, Joe Echevarria, said “Blair brings the perfect mix of nonprofit and private sector experiences to move MBKA to the next level. His track record of achieving measurable positive outcomes for underserved communities around the world is unparalleled. I am looking forward to working with him to help shape a brighter future for boys and men of color across the country.”

Broderick Johnson, Assistant to the President, Cabinet Secretary and Chair of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force, said “On behalf of the MBK Task Force, I commend the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBKA) on the selection of Blair Taylor as its new CEO. Blair is a proven leader with an outstanding reputation and an impressive track record for bringing innovative transformation to communities in greatest need. The federal MBK Task Force will continue to advance the goals laid out by the President when he established the My Brother’s Keeper initiative in February 2014. Through a robust policy agenda and sustained engagement with hundreds of local communities and the private sector, that work will continue throughout this Administration and beyond. Nevertheless, we are delighted that such an effective and passionate leader as Blair Taylor will be assuming the reins to drive the vital work of MBKA. We deeply appreciate the leadership shown by Joe Echevarria, who volunteered his time to serve as CEO during the organization’s startup phase, as well as MBKA’s outstanding and dedicated board of directors and staff.”

Taylor joined Starbucks in 2012, and during his first two years, he focused on Starbucks social impact, diversity and inclusion and government affairs functions while also serving as executive vice president of Starbucks Global Partner Resources (HR)

“Blair has brought new ideas and a steadfast focus on improving the lives of Starbucks partners and the communities where we live and work. And, we are excited to work with him in his new role as he leads MBKA in directions that are very aligned to our efforts around Opportunity Youth,” said Vivek Varma, executive vice president, Public Affairs at Starbucks.

Prior to joining Starbucks, Taylor served for seven years as President and CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League. He is credited with transforming the agency through innovative nation-leading community engagement programs, such as [email protected]™, a holistic community reform model.

Taylor also served as executive vice president of College Summit from 2002-2005, a national college access initiative with a track record of nearly doubling the college enrollment rates of the low income students it served. His private-sector experience includes four years as the President and CEO of a private retail franchising company focused on low income communities in the U.S. and the Caribbean and more than eight years of leadership with PepsiCo and the IBM Corp. where he held brand marketing, strategy, and executive sales positions

Taylor said, “This is an incredible opportunity and I am elated to assume this role at this important time. I am very grateful to the MBKA Board for their vote of confidence and indebted to those who have poured their hearts into this work. I will continue to bring a sense of urgency to this effort, along with years of experience and a genuine understanding of the power of collaboration. We will build upon the initial work and plans of MBKA, and do so with a renewed emphasis on measuring success and helping communities to achieve tangible results.”

Taylor has been widely recognized and celebrated for his creativity, leadership, and innovation for nearly two decades.

During his tenure at Starbucks, he was recognized by Fast Company Magazine as one of the nation’s most creative people for 2014. He was also named by PR Week as a Top 50 Innovator in 2013. In previous roles, Taylor was named to the Non Profit Times top 50 CEO list (2008, 2009) and to the Anderson Graduate School at UCLA’s Top 100 graduates list. For his prior work, he was also recognized as the state of California’s Mass Mutual Entrepreneur of the Year (1999).

Taylor serves on several boards, including as the incoming Chairman of the United Way of King County and as the current Chairman of the Board and founding Board Member for LeadersUp. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts, where he recently completed a six year term as a trustee. He also holds an M.B.A. in marketing and entrepreneurial studies from UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management.

Taylor added, “I am firmly convinced that addressing the crisis for our youth, and particularly for boys and men of color, is a big part of my purpose in life. I also believe that the opportunity gaps our youth face today may be the single biggest issue of our time. Our collective future as a nation absolutely requires us to address it.”


About MBK Alliance

My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBK Alliance) is an independent, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) born out of President Obama’s call to action to ensure all of our nation’s boys and young men of color (BYMOC) have equal opportunity to live up to their full potential. In order to improve life outcomes, MBK Alliance is working to elevate the voices of our nation’s BYMOC and to unite business, philanthropy, nonprofit, government, community leaders, and youth around this critical work. This collaborative, cross-sectoral movement led by MBK Alliance is breaking down barriers that BYMOC disproportionately face along the life path to create lasting social change.

Contact: [email protected]