Speaker Information

2014 Commencement Speaker Susan Mboya

Susan Mboya
2014 Commencement Speaker

Executive and philanthropist Susan Mboya serves as the group director of the Eurasia Africa Group (EAG) for women’s economic empowerment at Coca-Cola, and as the president of the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation. Mboya is also the founder and president of the Zawadi Africa Educational Fund, a 501c (3) non-profit organization that provides African young women from disadvantaged backgrounds with scholarships at over 65 top universities in the US and Canada, including Meredith College. To date, Zawadi has disbursed over 230 scholarships, valued at over $45 million to students from six African countries.

At Coca-Cola, Mboya leads the EAG’s deployment of the “5 BY 20” initiative, a global initiative to economically empower 5 million women by the year 2020, and also manages the deployment of the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF) initiatives across Africa. She leads the development of strategic plans and deployment of the 5by20 and Coca-Cola Africa Foundation initiatives in the 90+ countries that make up the Eurasia Africa Group, working with multi-functional partners to pilot and scale various 5by20 and TCCAF initiatives. In this role, Mboya has forged public private partnerships to help resource, fund, and provide technical expertise for the initiatives, raising over $116 million in funding towards the 5by20 initiative and empowering more than 270,000 women to date.

From 2008 to 2011, Mboya was the general manager for Coca-Cola South Africa, a Top 10 market for Coca-Cola, with over $800 million in revenues, where she led a system of bottling franchises including the Coca-Cola Canners Ltd. joint venture. During her tenure as GM, Mboya led the system in delivering 5% growth in 2010 on a business that had declined for the previous two years. Mboya also led the Coca-Cola System in the successful execution of the FIFA Trophy Tour and 2010 FIFA World Cup promotions in South Africa.

Mboya joined The Coca-Cola Company in September 2008, following a 14-year career in general management at Procter and Gamble in Cincinnati, Ohio. Immediately prior to joining Coca-Cola, Mboya was the global director for Oral B Brushing at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, where she led a multifunctional team in running a $2 billion global business across 40 countries, and led the integration of the Oral B Brushing business from Gillette into P&G.

Mboya currently serves as the chair of the Board of Liberty Holdings Group Kenya Limited, a subsidiary of Liberty Insurance Group in South Africa, and also serves as a member of Coca-Cola’s Global Women’s Leadership Council.

In 2003, Mboya became the first Procter and Gamble executive and first African ever to be inducted into the American Advertising Federations (AAF) Hall of Achievement. Also in 2003 Mboya was awarded the Jack Averett Community Spirit Award by the AAF, and named Ebony Magazine’s Marketer of the Year in 2004. In December 2010, Mboya was awarded the Elder of the Burning Spear (EBS), by the President of Kenya, in recognition of her dedication and service to the development of the country’s youth. Mboya is passionate about mentorship and youth development and mentors many young individuals both within and outside Coca-Cola.

Mboya obtained a B.Sc. in pharmacy from the University of Connecticut in1990 and a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in industrial pharmacy from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in 1995.

Previous Commencement Speakers

  • 2013: Anne-Marie Slaughter, International affairs scholar and the first woman to serve as director of policy planning for the United States Department of State
  • 2012: Silda Wall Spitzer, ’80, Former First Lady, State of New York
  • 2011: Sally Brice-O'Hara, U.S. Coast Guard vice admiral
  • 2010: Gretchen Holt Witt, '89, a pediatric cancer activist and co-founder of the non-profit Cookies for Kids' Cancer
  • 2009: Sarah Parker, chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court
  • 2008: Betty Ray McCain, former Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources
  • 2007: Elizabeth Edwards, author, advocate and attorney
  • 2006: Beverly Perdue, North Carolina lieutenant governor
  • 2005: Renee Montagne, National Public Radio correspondent and "Morning Edition" co-host
  • 2004: Elaine Marshall, North Carolina Secretary of State
  • 2003: Judy Woodruff, journalist for news organizations including CNN and PBS

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