Talent Champion – Edna Kane-Williams

Talent Champion Spotlight

AEF Talent Champion - Edna Kane-Williams

Edna Kane-Williams
Senior Vice President, Multicultural Leadership 
AARP

Edna Kane-Williams has over twenty years’ experience working in senior management positions within both nonprofit and for-profit organizations, with an emphasis on strategic planning and targeted marketing. In her current position as senior vice president of multicultural leadership at AARP, she is responsible for the development and execution of strategy relating to reaching all multicultural audiences, including Hispanic/Latino, African American/Black and Asian American/Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and LGBT audiences. She previously served as vice president of strategy and communications for the AARP Foundation. Kane-Williams has held a variety of other key positions, including senior vice president at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide.

Kane-Williams currently serves on the board of directors for Legal Counsel for the Elderly and The Center for Responsible Lending.

What prompted you to get involved with the AEF and why are you passionate about the future of the industry?

Its so important that we encourage diversity and inclusion within the industry. It’s business imperative in my opinion, and central not only to future success, but also the survival of the industry.

What is the best career advice you've ever received?

The best advice was to readjust the “imposter syndrome”. To always believe that I belonged on whatever rung of the ladder I aspired to.

Who was your favorite professor and why?

My favorite professor was an African American History professor at Yale during my undergraduate years – Dr. John Blassingame. Our steeped history came alive when he taught it. He also took an interest in me – an overwhelmed student from North Philadelphia. His support and encouragement made a big difference.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

In my current job we work with a lot of partner organizations. I love the collaborative spirit and the energy that comes from tackling challenges together.

"Great mix of technical info and real life experience to justify it. Easily the best guest lecture I’ve had in college. So relevant and informative."
— Student at Villanova University after AEF sent speaker from BBDO