Colleen Richards Powell

SVP, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, American Tower Corporation

Colleen Richards Powell

Speaker Bio

Colleen Richards Powell is the architect of American Tower’s diversity and inclusion strategy from design through implementation. In this role, she implements social change initiatives and best practices to advance the organization’s global footprint and inclusive culture. Powell works closely with public affairs to influence legislation and with the American Tower Foundation to support philanthropic efforts globally. Previously, Colleen was the Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at MFS Investment Management where she built the company’s diversity and inclusion strategy engaging with pivotal clients, strategic partners, internal and external stakeholders across North America, EMEA and Asia Pacific. She engaged directly with the Board and senior leaders across their global platform on the strategy for corporate diversity, equity, and corporate citizenship.

She leveraged MFS’ advancement in these areas to advance the company’s values and elevate its brand and reputation. She created materials to communicate strategy to employees and clients and to advance business prospects.

Prior to her current role, Powell was the chief external relations and communications officer for the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, where she led the public engagement campaign around the Authority’s $2B economic development initiative to expand the convention center and develop the South Boston Waterfront. Prior to that, she served as deputy director of Commonwealth Compact, an organization committed to increasing diversity in the Massachusetts business community, and spent several years as special assistant to the president of Harvard University, working across Harvard’s 12 campuses.

She began her career by serving on the Capitol Hill staff of Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy, where she worked on education, children’s issues and low‐income policy.

Powell earned a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College and a master’s degree from Harvard University.

Powell chairs the Education and Workforce Committee of the board of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable. She is also a member of the Leadership Council of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Executive Forum of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship. She also serves on the Leadership Council of the Posse Foundation, the Cradles to Crayons Corporate Advisory Council, the Philanthropic Advisory Council for Healthcare for the Homeless, and the Executive Council of the Partnership Inc. For the past 4 years, she has

Co-Chaired the Community Servings Life Savor Gala. Powell is a member of the Wellesley College Business Leadership Council. She is a former trustee of Wellesley College, the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy and Bunker Hill Community College.