2024 Commencement Oratrix: Thasunda Brown Duckett

Thasunda Brown Duckett is president and chief executive officer of TIAA, a leading provider of secure retirements and outcome-focused investment solutions for millions of people and thousands of institutions.

She leads a company whose mission is defined by financial inclusion and opportunity – goals and values she has upheld throughout her career. Under her leadership, TIAA is expanding its mission beyond higher education to all Americans saving for retirement.

Before joining TIAA in 2021, she held several key executive roles during a 17-year career at JP Morgan Chase, including CEO of the Consumer Bank and Auto Finance. Earlier in her career, she was a director of emerging markets at Fannie Mae.

Duckett serves on the boards of NIKE, Inc., Brex Inc., Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, Sesame Workshop, National Medal of Honor Museum, Economic Club of New York, the University of Houston Board of Visitors, and the Dean’s Advisory Board for Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business. She also is a member of the Executive Leadership Council CEO Advisory Board, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and Jack and Jill of America Inc.

In addition, Duckett is an appointee to the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), The Business Council Executive Committee, and the Committee for Economic Development. She also serves on the board of Business Roundtable.  

Duckett has received a wide array of accolades from financial media, including FortuneForbesBarron’s and American Banker. Recently, Duckett was listed as one of the TIME100 Most Influential People in the World, named a CNBC Changemaker and inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

She founded the Otis and Rosie Brown Foundation in honor of her parents to recognize and reward people who use ordinary means to empower and uplift their community in extraordinary ways.

Duckett grew up in Texas and lives in Connecticut with her family. She holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and marketing from the University of Houston and an MBA from Baylor University.