JOSIE J. THOMAS
(Executive Vice President, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, CBS Corporation)
Josie Thomas is Executive Vice President, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, CBS Corporation.
In this role, Thomas oversees the Company’s commitment to diversity across all of its businesses. She leads multidimensional diversity and inclusion strategies working with senior executives throughout the corporation to develop talent, diverse suppliers, outreach, advocacy group engagement and national industry impact. In addition, she continues to be the executive sponsor of CBS’ employee resource groups, while spearheading the CBS Corporation Diversity Council, which serves to strengthen diversity and inclusion dialogue and enhance initiatives across the Corporation.
Thomas most recently served as Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, CBS Corporation, a position she was promoted to in 2010. In 2000 she was named Senior Vice President, Diversity, CBS Television, where she created the highly regarded and effective CBS Diversity Institute, which provides participants with access to the network television decision-making process with the goal of launching and expanding careers, in front of and behind the camera, and providing sustainable opportunities for enhanced exposure to industry insiders. The Institute included the following key components: the Writers Mentoring Programs, Directing Initiatives, Daytime Casting Initiative, Actors Career Workshops, and Sketch Comedy Showcases. She later created the CBS Writer Fellowship with the NAACP at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, which gives emerging talent a supporting partnership.
Previously, Thomas was Vice President, Business Affairs, CBS News (1995-2000) where she negotiated all major contracts for CBS News. Prior to that she was Director of Business Affairs, CBS News (1989-1995), Director of Legal Affairs for New York-based Trans World International and Broadcast Counsel for the Law Department of CBS Inc. Thomas began her career as a litigation associate at Anderson, Russell, Kill and Olick and later practiced intellectual property law at Weiss, Dawid, Fross, Zelnick & Lehrman.
Thomas is a graduate of Harvard College (B.A., cum laude, history), Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley (J.D.) and a member of the New York State Bar. She was re-elected for a third term to serve on the Alliance for Women in Media Board of Directors where she serves on the Executive Committee. She is also a member of the Apollo EmpowHer committee and a member of the Executive Leadership Council. She served as chair of the Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies and later chaired the Board of Visitors at the time of the launch of the Global Journalism and Communications School at Morgan State where she remains on the Board of Visitors. She is a member of the Board of Visitors of the Howard University School of Communications. She is also a member of the NAACP Spingarn Award Committee, where she served as the 2018 Chair, a position she also held in 2010. She is a former member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Diversity Committee.
Among her many honors and awards, Thomas received the first New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce Women of Excellence Award in Corporate Diversity, and she was honored as an exceptional woman executive in Profiles in Diversity Journal’s“11th Annual Women Worth Watching” issue. She was featured multiple times on Savoymagazine’s list of “Top Influential Women in Corporate America,” was the recipient of the National Diversity Council’s “Multicultural Leadership Award” and was recognized in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018 by Black Enterprise as a “Top Executive in Corporate Diversity.” In 2015 she was honored by The Network Journalmagazine with a “25 Influential Black Women in Business” award and she received the Tri-State Diversity & Leadership “Most Powerful & Influential Women Award.” In 2016 Thomas received the “Impact Award” from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and the “2016 Media Executive of the Year” award from African American Women in Cinema. Thomas has also been named a member of the Multichannel News’ Wonder Women Class of 2018, the 20th Anniversary Class.