Latondra Newton ’91, Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of The Walt Disney Company, will deliver the Kettering University Commencement Address on June 16.
Newton has served in her current role since February of 2017. She leads the The Walt Disney Company’s strategic diversity and inclusion initiatives, which help Disney and its employees around the world tell stories that entertain, enlighten and inspire. She partners with all the company’s segments and leaders to build on Disney’s commitment to produce entertainment that reflects a global audience and sustain a welcoming and inclusive workplace for everyone.
Prior to joining Disney, Newton was Group Vice President, Social Innovation and Chief Diversity Officer, Toyota Motor North America, Inc. and Chief Program Officer, Toyota Mobility Foundation, Toyota Motor Corporation.
At Toyota, she led an integrated, holistic social responsibility strategy for the company. She united Toyota’s diversity and inclusion, shared impact and environmental sustainability efforts across North America under one function for the first time.
She began her career at Toyota in 1991 and held a variety of senior roles spanning corporate planning, research, public affairs, marketing, philanthropy, and diversity.
Newton has been recognized as a leader in diversity and inclusion and business during her career. In 2014 Linkage’s Women in Leadership Institute gave her its “Passionate Champion Award.” She also has spoken at the Aspen Ideas Festival and the Shared Value Leadership Summit and she is a member of the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Leadership Forum.
She is a passionate advocate for inclusion and has worked directly with young women to support their educational goals, including supporting them in earning college degrees.
In June of 2017, Newton launched a fine jewelry line, stôn by Latondra. As president and designer of this bespoke line, Newton strives to empower women around the world through the work. Virtually all of stôn’s collaborators are women -- including operations staff, photographers, web designers, and branding agents -- and the company works in partnership with non-profits that make a positive impact on issues that are important for women.
Newton holds a bachelor’s degree in management systems from Kettering University.
Kettering University’s Commencement Ceremony is Saturday, June 16, at 11 a.m. in the Connie and Jim John Recreation Center.