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.”

Monica Curtis

 Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer

“I firmly believe that it is incumbent for every leader to champion diversity, equity and inclusion.  That starts with modeling behaviors and acting with intentionality.  There is no question that diverse perspectives drive better outcomes, improve the customer experience and enrich our communities.”

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."

Todd Katz

Executive Vice President, Group Benefits

“Our focus on diversity, equity and inclusion starts with creating a culture of belonging across our business, where our people can bring their unique ideas and experiences to work each and every day. This commitment extends to how we engage with our customers through our products, services and technologies and continuously challenges us to ensure we are doing our part to support more confident futures for the diverse communities we serve.”

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.” 

Melissa Moore

 Senior Vice President, Annuities

“As a leader at MetLife, I’ve seen how diversity of thought and perspectives strengthens our team and its ability to succeed. I’m proud of our team’s hard work and dedication to creating an inclusive workplace, where our employees feel respected and heard. It’s important to me that we do not assume everyone holds the same views and that we check in daily with our employees to ensure they are able to bring their best self to work. Our culture of diverse thinking enables us to deliver differentiated and equitable solutions that meet the needs of all of our customers and stakeholders while supporting the growth and development of our workforce.”

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."

Pedro Pesqueira

Senior Vice President,  Legal - Latin America

“I cannot envision any successful company without DEI being part of its DNA. The benefits that DEI brings to any function or organization are irreplaceable”

Jennifer Potenta

Head of Global Private Fixed Income & Alternatives

“For us to perform best for our clients, we need diverse teams working together to source and analyze investment opportunities that are differentiated and deliver value. A diverse and inclusive culture sparks idea generation, improves the quality of our investment decision making, enhances employee engagement and our clients’ experience. As we pursue attractive investment returns, we also drive positive impact by deploying needed capital as well as through targeted programs that support MetLife’s commitment to originate $1 billion in investments that advance firms owned by women, minorities and disabled persons by 2030.”

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.“

Adora Whitaker

Executive Vice President, Corporate Development and M&A

“Diversity of thought is key to maximizing returns, especially in a role like mine. Being able to consider unique viewpoints is key to unlocking and creating sustainable value. It is necessary for MetLife’s journey to lasting differentiation to leverage our globally diverse teams and continue driving a culture where all voices matter.”

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.“

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