Desiree Rogers

Desiree Rogers, CEO of Johnson Publishing Company, LLC, is known as one of America’s most successful businesswomen. The Harvard Business School alumna redefines her leadership positions while playing a major philanthropic role in the community.

At Johnson Publishing, Ms. Rogers is repositioning the firm as the curator of the African American experience—past, present, and future. Johnson Publishing owns Ebony, JET, and Fashion Fair Cosmetics.

An innovative leader with a proven track record, she turned the Illinois Lottery into a revenue producer through promotional partnerships and by doubling ticket sales. As the president of the Peoples Energy natural gas utilities, she facilitated the transition from a traditional entity to a responsive customer-centric organization.

In 2008, President Obama named Ms. Rogers as the first African American Social Secretary, to implement the Obama’s nontraditional vision of the White House as the “People’s House.” Her office produced 350 events in 14 months, turning the White House into a showcase for American art and culture.

Ms. Rogers develops solutions for organizations facing changing industry dynamics or consumer tastes. Spearheading development of Allstate’s social networking strategy, Ms. Rogers redefined operational approaches. She identifies and motivates talent to challenge assumptions, using brand discipline and superior communication to achieve success.

Ms. Rogers is the chairwoman of ChooseChicago. She serves on the nonprofit boards of DonorsChoose, the Museum of Science and Industry, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and on the executive committee of World Business Chicago. In addition, Ms. Rogers serves on the board of directors for Pinnacle Entertainment.