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Blair  Taylor

Blair Taylor

Former Chief Community Officer & Head of Global HR at Starbucks


Blair Taylor is one of the nation’s most recognized leaders in the creation of highly successful for profit, nonprofit and governmental innovations. He has more than 25 years of senior leadership experience spanning across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. He currently serves as the Managing Partner of XFC Partners (X-Factor), a firm he founded to focus on creating sustainable linkages between the globe’s largest corporations and untapped sources of talent. Read More >

Taylor has a rich background of senior corporate and social change. He is the former Chief Executive Officer of My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBKA), a nonprofit launched by President Obama to advance communities of color broadly and boys and men of color more specifically. Prior to leading MBKA, Taylor served as a member of the Starbucks Coffee Company’s senior leadership team, reporting to CEO Howard Schultz, where he led the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR), Diversity & Inclusion, and government affairs functions and also served for a period as Executive Vice President (EVP) of Starbucks Global Human Resources and President of the Starbucks Foundation. Taylor’s business leadership also includes eight years with PepsiCo and IBM.

Taylor has spent his career innovating with some of the nation’s biggest brands and working with CEOs, philanthropy and the White House to devise scalable solutions with triple bottom-lines. He has an extensive array of Board Chairman and leadership roles and is uniquely positioned to speak on 21st Century intersections between corporations and community, and the imperative for corporations to lead in the social change space as government recedes. He is also an expert on the topic of Diversity & Inclusion, including cost effective methods to recruit underserved populations. Taylor holds a BA in economics from Amherst College where he also served as a Trustee in 2013, and an M.B.A. in marketing and entrepreneurial studies from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA, where he was named one of the school’s 100 most inspirational Alums. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Meet Starbucks Chief Community Officer

Inspiring Next Generation Leaders

Awakening Corporate America

Speech Topics

Social Responsibility That Makes Business Sense

Very few senior level executives have designed and implemented social responsibility from both the C-suite of corporate America and the head of the nation’s premier social change organizations. Even fewer have woven together paradigm-shifting solutions with triple bottom lines. From reporting directly to CEO Howard Schultz as Starbucks’ Chief Community Officer—a position specifically created for him—to working for President Obama as the CEO of his signature My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, Blair Taylor, a seasoned MBA, has led some of America’s most innovative initiatives. In this engaging and informative session, Taylor outlines why the corporate sector’s pursuit of meaningful social responsibility strategies is no longer just a “nice thing to do,” but an essential business imperative with a tangible ROI, offering actionable recommendations and practical business strategies that satisfy shareholders and inspire leadership and front-line employees alike.

How to Develop the Future Leaders of Your Company: A 10 Point Strategy

Developing a vibrant pipeline of future leaders is vital to the long term success of any organization. However, the process of identifying, encouraging, inspiring (and often cajoling) necessary to propel emerging leaders forward can be a challenge.  In this essential presentation, Taylor shares his acclaimed ten-point strategy for effective leadership development. Using practical and easy to understand concepts that he has taught at the Anderson School of Management at UCLA and other top business schools—Taylor walks you through the most effective ways to advance the careers and increase the engagement of any set of employees or emerging leaders. He closes the session by offering an invaluable implementation guide for senior executives and organizational HR leaders that put his 10-points into action.

From Selma to Starbucks: The Bottom Line on Race Relations

With strife dramatically resurfacing over the past five years, there may be no hotter or more divisive topic in America today than race relations.  For the past two decades, Blair Taylor has been a respected thought leader in America’s frequently heated conversation about this subject. In roles ranging from Executive Vice President of Global HR at Starbucks, where he led all corporate diversity and inclusion efforts, to CEO of the Urban League, where he led the publication of the highly acclaimed State of Black Los Angeles reports, Taylor has addressed the many facets of race relations from multiple angles. In this engaging presentation, he brings exceptional storytelling talents and invaluable historical context. He also outlines a set of proven strategies and approaches that he has used to help mitigate racial strife, calm tensions and open up productive dialog on all sides.

Calling All Mentors!

What are the most effective and proven mechanisms for mentoring? What approaches can busy leaders utilize to engage in highly rewarding and impactful mentoring experiences? How can you make it one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have?  In this unique session, Blair Taylor draws upon his extensive partnerships and personal experiences with some of the nation’s leading mentoring organizations, including Big Brothers of America and Mentor Inc. He provides valuable context on what works and what doesn’t, shares pragmatic solutions and illuminates the impact of mentorship from both the mentor and mentee perspective. Combining practical recommendations, highly personal stories, informative data and a set of deliberate pathways to engagement, Taylor offers a compelling, thoughtful rationale for mentoring and its impact on individuals, communities and society.

Pathways to Jobs: The Nexus of Education & Employment

As a former Chief Human Resource Officer in a Fortune 500 Company, Blair Taylor knows what companies are looking for in employees—and how, sadly,  too many graduates don’t have the hard and soft skills demanded of a 21st century workforce. In this essential session for leaders in higher and secondary education, Taylor combines his corporate background with more than two decades spent helping young people find pathways to opportunity. Sharing compelling stories from a career that has ranged  from running the nation’s largest college access initiative to running large divisions of corporate America, Taylor provides concrete insights into how educational institutions can align themselves more closely with what employers want. Contending that educational institutions of all sizes and statures aren’t producing graduates with the vital elements and soft skills that open doors, he offers insight and practical approaches for building a work-ready 21st century workforce.

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