On Wednesday, April 10, 2024, the FMI Foundation’s DEI Committee hosted a special presentation and conversation with Stephen A. Leach, Disney Entertainment/National Geographic. Drawing upon his vast experience guiding Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging programs in various industries, Stephen shared key learnings about factors that contribute to successful endeavors and potholes you might wish to avoid. Within his illuminating talk, he also offered his views on the current DEI&B climate, what can be done to infuse new energy in corporate D+I efforts, and his challenges and successes within the DEIB space within his past at Marriott Corporation, Nestle USA, and now Disney Entertainment/National Geographic.

Stephen A. Leach joined the Representation, Inclusion Strategies and Engagement (RISE) Team at The Walt Disney Studios in September 2020. The Walt Disney Studio creates, distributes, and markets some of the most iconic and memorable films and franchises in movie history. The RISE Team helps cultivate creative talent, supports diverse storytelling, conducts outreach and market research, and creates strategies that drive D&I, multicultural consumer acquisition and engagement for The Walt Disney Studios’ businesses.

Before joining Disney, Stephen’s held a variety of roles, including:

- Member of Marriott’s Workforce Engagement and Global Diversity and Inclusion team;

- Senior Director, Diversity + Inclusion Strategies at Marriott International, ranked #1 for diversity by DiversityInc., a leading diversity and inclusion publication;

- Manager for Community Relations; and Manager for Workforce Diversity and Inclusion at Nestle USA; and

- Government Affairs and Community Outreach positions for other national organizations.

Stephen brings a unique and seasoned perspective to corporate D+I efforts, especially in the areas of the developing and implementing cultural competence trainings; relationship, strategic alliance, and partner building; D+I data analysis and reporting; managing D+I programs; and community relations. Stephen and his wife Danielle live in Northern Virginia with their son Steph and twin boys, Jackson and Carter.


David G. Fikes, moderator  
Executive Director
FMI Foundation

Stephen A. Leach
Director, Diversity & Inclusion, People and Culture
Disney Entertainment / National Geographic

The recording is available now!