American Express Makes History With the First Black Woman on its Executive Committee

American Express named President of Strategic Partnerships Glenda McNeal to its Executive Committee this week, making the veteran executive the first Black woman to sit on the Committee.

“Having Glenda’s expertise and experience on the Executive Committee will be a huge asset for us,” American Express Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stephen J. Squeri said in a memo.

During her more 30 years at American Express, McNeal has served in a number of roles across sales and client management, business development, and marketing and strategy. In her current role, she leads strategy and negotiations for key partnerships with the largest e-commerce, travel, technology, and retail companies. Squire added that McNeal has “overseen the growth of our relationships with our largest and most critical partners, including Delta, Marriott, Hilton, PayPal and Amazon.”

Most recently, McNeal co-led the company’s Stand for Small coalition, assembling more than 70 companies across various industries to support small businesses as they work to recover from the impact of COVID-19.

The CEO noted that current challenges to the global economy, including the coronavirus pandemic, are “making it even more important to adapt our leadership structure to the challenges we face so that we can emerge in a stronger position” and that during these unprecedented times, “we must ensure we have the right expertise at the table.”

McNeal was added to the Executive Committee along with Andrés Espinosa, Executive Vice President of Enterprise Credit and Fraud Risk Management and Chief Credit Officer for American Express, and Pierric Beckert, President of Global Network Services.

The executives will “bring to the Executive Committee invaluable knowledge and experience which are particularly relevant for the times we are in,” Squeri said. “We will benefit from their diverse perspectives as we navigate through the challenges we face and position our company to win going forward.”

McNeal, a member of the B.E. Registry of Corporate Directors, serves on the board of Nordstrom Inc. as well as the boards of RLJ Lodging Trust, the World Travel and Tourism Council, and the United Negro College Fund. A graduate of Dillard University who received her M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, she is also a member of the Executive Leadership Council.