Featured Speaker

Hazelett Forum featured speaker

Alecia A. DeCoudreaux has an extensive and distinguished professional background. She has served in a variety of high-profile executive leadership roles during the past three decades. Most recently, she served as the 13th president of Mills College—a highly competitive liberal arts college for women—from July 2011 through June 2016. Prior to Mills, DeCoudreaux served in a number of leadership roles at Eli Lilly and Company, including as vice president and deputy general counsel; vice president and general counsel, Lilly USA; and secretary and deputy general counsel. She began her professional career in private practice with Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro, a prestigious San Francisco law firm.

Among DeCoudreaux’s accomplishments at Mills College are successfully collaborating with the world-renowned American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco to restore the theater major at Mills; expanding Mills’ global focus; and initiating participation in the Women in Public Service Project created by the U.S. Department of State; and building strong relationships with alumnae, community partners, and donors.

DeCoudreaux’s professional career is punctuated by extensive involvement in the communities where she has lived and worked, which includes volunteerism, community activism, and service on several nonprofit boards. DeCoudreaux’s academic experience includes successful service as both a trustee and board chair at Wellesley College, director of the Wellesley College Alumnae Association, director of the Indiana University Foundation, and member of the Indiana University School of Law Board of Visitors. While achieving professional success, DeCoudreaux has demonstrated creativity, social responsibility, and community involvement. She has also demonstrated acumen in budget management, fundraising, and alumnae relations and engagement.

DeCoudreaux has extensive board experience, serving as a board member of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Commonwealth Club of California, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges Council of Presidents, the Parnassus Fund, The Mind Trust, and the Economic Club of Indiana. She has also been a member of the United Way of Central Indiana Women’s Initiative, and an honorary director of the Indiana University Foundation, where she served as director from 1998 through 2007. She is an emerita board member of the Indiana University School of Law, the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, and Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.

DeCoudreaux is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the CEDAW Award for Education, the ABC News Profiles of Excellence Award, and the Madam C. J. Walker Pioneer Award. She has also been recognized as a Leadership California Trailblazer. In addition, she was selected as one of the San Francisco Business Times’ most influential women in business. She was featured in Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine’s “30 Women Making a Difference.”

Born in Chicago, Illinois, DeCoudreaux earned a bachelor of arts in English and political science from Wellesley College, one of the largest and most selective women’s colleges in the nation. She also earned a doctor of laws from the Indiana University School of Law.