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Donna A. James Biography

Attended College As A Single Mother, Joined Nationwide Insurance, Headed Human Resources, Elected President Of Nationwide Strategic Investments


Corporate executive

Plenty of hard work, combined with her superior business and entrepreneurial skills, enabled Donna A. James, once a single, teenage mother, to climb the corporate ladder to become the first black woman executive at Nationwide, one of the country's largest insurance and financial services companies. From her position as vice president of human resources for Nationwide in 1996, through her appointment as president of Nationwide Strategic Investments in 2003, James was the first African American in the company to hold each of her titles, as well as the first African American to sit on the corporation's executive committee. She also was the first to head an operating division of this Fortune 500 company. She reported directly to two successive chief executive officers (CEOs). Her position at Nationwide enabled James to advocate for diversity throughout the corporate world.

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