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Nadia N. Rawlinson elected to Stanford Board of Trustees

The Stanford University Board of Trustees elected a new member, Nadia N. Rawlinson, for a five-year term beginning Oct. 1.

The Stanford University Board of Trustees has elected Nadia N. Rawlinson, a long-time Silicon Valley executive, for a five-year term beginning Oct. 1.

Nadia N. Rawlinson (Image credit: Betsy Newman)

“I truly feel honored to be invited to serve,” Rawlinson said. “There are only a few moments in one’s life where your passion and purpose come together. For me, this is one of them.”

Rawlinson serves on the boards of J.Crew Group, Vail Resorts, and the international NGO Save the Children. She is also a co-chair of the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) Board Academy.

“We are pleased to announce Nadia’s election to the Board of Trustees,” said Board Chair Jerry Yang. “Nadia’s wealth of experience addressing complex operating environments and her unique expertise in human resources strategy and development at a global level will greatly enhance the board’s work. For years, she has demonstrated a strong commitment to Stanford, and her time as trustee promises to leave a positive impact on the university.”

Rawlinson was the chief people officer of Slack until its acquisition by Salesforce in 2021, and she helped lead the integration as part of one of the largest deals in Silicon Valley history. Before joining Slack, she was a Fortune 500 chief human resources officer of Live Nation Entertainment from 2016 to 2020.

Prior, she was vice president and co-head of global human resources at Groupon from 2012 to 2015; director in the online and mobile enterprise growth group for American Express from 2008 to 2012; was in people operations at Google in 2007; and was in sales operations leadership at McMaster-Carr.

“I believe I have a unique perspective to bring as someone who comes from the Midwest, has worked across large public companies and start-ups and non-profits, and has always had an ‘outsiders’ point of view while understanding and appreciating how institutions and culture not only work but thrive,” Rawlinson said. “Blending those two perspectives will allow me to bring a different dimension to discussions and decisions on the board.”

Rawlinson noted that this is a moment of great change in industry.

“We are navigating a generational shift in how business is conducted, and we are learning how redefining stakeholders also redefines success,” she said. “Stanford is at a similar inflection point. It is an honor to have the opportunity to serve alongside its other phenomenal trustees to ensure that Stanford’s legacy of excellence continues, and that Stanford can continue leading in defining this generational shift.”

Rawlinson’s election to Stanford’s board of trustees reminds her of her first year at Stanford when she heard Sen. Cory Booker, ’91, MA ’92, speak in Drake Hall as part of dorm programming. Booker discussed how his time as a Stanford student and subsequent passion around institutional issues led to his decision to make an impact on the school by serving at its highest levels.

“I similarly cherished the school so deeply,” Rawlinson said. “I promised myself then to serve the school well and try to ensure that generations would have the same transformative experience that I had.”

At Stanford, Rawlinson has served as chair of the Alumni Committee on Trustee Nominations and participated on her fifth Reunion Campaign Committee. She has volunteered for undergraduate admissions, on the Stanford Day in Chicago Steering Committee, and was the speaker at the 2022 Stanford University Black Graduation ceremony.

Rawlinson is also an honor roll donor for The Stanford Fund and a longtime supporter of Stanford’s Black Community Services Center – most recently through The Nadia Rawlinson Endowed Fund for the Stanford Black Community Services Center.

Rawlinson earned an undergraduate degree in history from Stanford in 2001 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 2008. She and her husband, David, live in Chicago.