Leadership Council

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Leadership Council

In early 2021, we launched the Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council chaired by our CEO Michel Khalaf. Its 15 members were nominated because of their purpose-driven leadership and commitment to achieving results. The Council’s focus is on achieving our long-term aspiration to be a top company for DEI with top quartile performance. 

The Council will drive and execute our DEI strategy across businesses, functions, and regions, provide strategic guidance and insight to improve performance, as well as visibly promote and champion DEI internally and externally.

Hear from the Leadership Council members directly on why DEI is important to their business. 

Michel Khalaf

President and Chief Executive Officer
Leadership Council Chair

“At MetLife, we are driven by our purpose of building a more confident future for our employees, customers, shareholders and communities. We will only succeed if that future is a diverse, equitable and inclusive one.”

Susan Podlogar

Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
Leadership Council Vice Chair

“Creating an inclusive environment where all employees feel valued, respected, and heard is critical to the success of a company. I am passionate about building a workforce at all levels that is energized to make a difference – and this starts when diversity, equity and in inclusion is built into every aspect of decision-making at MetLife.”

John McCallion

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Leadership Council Vice Chair

“Having an inclusive culture is paramount to having a high-performing team, and we must leverage diverse and unique capabilities to make the best decisions for our employees, customers and shareholders. That’s how we build a more confident future for all of our stakeholders.”

Michelle Froah

Senior Vice President, Global Marketing Strategy & Sciences

"Our talent needs to serve diverse customers and communities which is why DEI is critical to our ability to anticipate customer needs and expectations through real insights we can drive to action. Having a diverse team who is also inclusive in the way they work helps add invaluable context as we listen and understand our customers and the external marketplace. This leads to better innovation, better products, and better relationships."

Nuria Garcia

Regional President, Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA)

"When all employees feel respected and valued, the outcome in terms of customer focus and business impact is exponential. Working in such an environment is what I strive for. I encourage the right behaviors through training and by example, while promoting our diverse talent agenda in a very intentional manner."

Nancy Mueller Handal

Executive Vice President and Global Head of Private Fixed Income and Alternatives, MetLife Investment Management

“DEI is extremely important to me as a leader in MetLife Investment Management as a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds leads to a more well-rounded and content employee base and, ultimately, better investment decisions.MetLife Investment Management has emphasized the need to improve diversity through investment decisions, using our capital deployment to impact change in the industry.”

Todd Katz

Executive Vice President, Group Benefits

“A champion for DEI, I continue to take steps to build a diverse and inclusive culture ranging from sponsoring MetLife’s 10-year Women in Sales program to expanding internships and sales training programs to create a more diverse talent pipeline. My team is bringing MetLife’s purpose to life by developing products and services for underserved communities. In 2021, the Group Benefits team embarked on a partnership with the National African American Insurance Association to create opportunities to engage with local chapters, coach student competitions, and participate in events and career fairs.”

Merrilee Matchett

Executive Vice President and Head of Global Customer Service & Operations

“Our frontline employees are the voice of MetLife to our customers. Fostering an environment where our employees feel able to bring their whole selves to work improves our ability to care for our customers and one another.” 

Bill O’Donnell

Executive Vice President and U.S. Chief Financial Officer 

“In Finance, we are focused on driving career progression through experiences, and building a learning-oriented and inclusive environment that allows team members to acknowledge mistakes, speak up and constructively offer different views. We believe this combination will accelerate learning agility and provide our employees the tools they each need to grow and develop their careers.”

John O’Halloran

Senior Vice President and Head of Legal, Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA)

“As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I am passionate about creating an inclusive work environment where we can bring our whole selves to work. I believe this is the key to unlocking the potential within each one of us and creating a truly diverse and inclusive workplace. I want to continue to create an environment that supports and fosters people to discuss DEI on a daily basis and encourages people to listen in a meaningful way."

Dr Cindy Pace

Global Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer

"We’re committed to building a more diverse, inclusive and equitable workforce and society. Our goal is to be a top company with top-quartile performance. To accomplish this, we are creating greater leadership commitment and accountability, with our DEI Leadership Council shaping what it means for us to lead inclusively in the future."

Michael Roberts

Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Global Brand & Marketing

"As DEI council members, it is incumbent on all of us to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion is embedded in all that we do. As the head of marketing, I also have responsibility to ensure that DEI is reflected in how we show up in market and engage with our customers in ways that are authentic, meaningful and bring value. This can only become a reality when there is representation within our organization as well."

Michele Siano

 Executive Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer 

“DEI is a core value of MetLife that enriches all of us by exposing us to a range of ways to understand and engage with customers, shareholders and the public. In order to get to the best solutions and manage compliance risk across MetLife, it is vital to bring a diverse set of ideas and to foster an inclusive environment.”

Cynthia Smith 

Senior Vice President, Regional Business in the U.S.

“Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is weaved into the fabric of my business. It is important to have a culture where everyone can be successful. Equally important, our largest trading partners want to work with insurance providers that do the right things for our employees, customers, and our communities. Getting this right improves our ability to effectively compete.” 

Siyi Sun

Senior Vice President and General Manager, MetLife China

“I believe when employees feel valued, respected and heard, they will bring their best selves to work. A diverse workforce will deliver better performances. In MetLife China, we have created a gender equity career development path within the Company. As a result, 49% of management positions in MetLife China are held by female employees. Our Agency force comprises of 60% female talents as of 2020. We help them balance career and family obligations by providing flexibility in work schedules and locations, with digital tools.”

Pawan Verma

Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer

“I have seen the power of diverse teams in action and am a strong believer that diversity, inclusion and belonging drive innovation and greater organizational success. I believe that MetLife has the power to be a leading voice in the DEI space — not just in insurance and technology — but across industries. By sparking conversations, championing causes and leading the way to opportunity that’s truly equal for all, we can unleash change that makes a difference for people all over the globe.“

Mike Zarcone

Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Affairs

“The very nature of our business is to promote a sustainable and equitable future for all of our stakeholders: our customers, employees, shareholders and communities. To do this, we need to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion is reflected in everything we do.At MetLife, we are all in this together. It is the diversity of background, talent, and perspectives in our workforce that will help us continue fulfilling our purpose for decades to come.“

See More of our 2020 Progress