Chris Macdonald, global president for advertising & allied agencies, McCann Worldgroup, has been named chairman of the ANA Educational Foundation.
The appointment comes as the ANA Education Foundation is launching more programs to drive improved diversity in the ad-marketing industry.
It’s no secret the renewed effort comes at a challenging time. Gordon McLean, the AEF’s President and CEO notes that Covid-19 “completely disrupted university campuses, as professors struggled to adapt to online teaching and students had their career plans entirely upended.”
The subsequent economic collapse, he added, “has forced the industry to pull back from its broader entry level recruitment efforts, but the reckoning around racial equality has catapulted diverse hiring and talent development to the top of every marketer’s priority list.”
Part of the AEF plan to boost diversity is to expand its Marketing and Advertising Education (MADE) internship program, grow the Campus Speakers Program and expand its virtual Visiting Professor Program.
Macdonald is hosting a panel session at Advertising Week on Monday that will address academic, cultural, agency and corporate environments that contribute to the lack diversity in Adland. Participants include Elizabeth Rutledge, Chief Marketing Officer, American Express and Vijay Viswanathan, Associate Dean of IMC and Associate Professor, Medill School, Northwestern University in Chicago.
Macdonald said of his appointment, “The AEF really is the bridge that connects agencies and marketers to academia and is uniquely positioned to help us attract the best and most diverse talent to our industry. I believe passionately in this mission and am delighted to take the chair at such a critical time.”