Starbucks Chief Operating Officer, Rosalind Brewer, Named 2021 Joyce Ivy Foundation Leader of the Year


Ann Arbor, MI, December 21, 2020 – The Joyce Ivy Foundation announced today that it has named Rosalind Brewer, Chief Operating Officer of Starbucks, as its 2021 Leader of the Year.

The Joyce Ivy Foundation provides summer academic scholarships to high-achieving female high school students from the Midwest. Selected Scholars participate in summer programs at Joyce Ivy partner institutions, including some of the nation’s most rigorous colleges and universities: Barnard, Brown, Cornell, Emory, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Smith, the University of Chicago, Washington University in St Louis, and Yale.
The Foundation also holds an annual fall college admissions workshop and a spring college admissions symposium, which provide critical information to over 500 high school students, families, counselors, community-based organization leaders, and educators throughout the Midwest. ​​

Each year, the Joyce Ivy Foundation names a Leader of the Year who has achieved notable success and demonstrated impact throughout her career. The Leader of the Year embodies a relentless pursuit of her own educational and professional goals and serves as a powerful example of female empowerment and leadership for the Scholars. The Leader of the Year is celebrated in conjunction with the group of selected Summer Scholars at the Joyce Ivy Foundation’s annual spring Gala.

As chief operating officer and group president for Starbucks, Roz Brewer leads the company’s operating businesses across the Americas (Canada, U.S. and Latin America), and Starbucks license stores as well as the global functions of marketing, technology, supply chain, product innovation, and store development organizations. Prior to joining Starbucks, Roz served as president and chief executive officer of Sam’s Club, the eighth largest U.S. retailer with sales of $57 billion for fiscal year 2016. Roz joined Sam’s Club, the members-only warehouse channel of Walmart Inc. in 2012 and made history by becoming the first woman and first African American to lead a Walmart division. In 2020, Fortune ranked her #27 on its list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business. Roz earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Spelman College and attended Wharton’s Advanced Management Program and Stanford University’s Directors’ College.

“I am deeply honored to be recognized by the Joyce Ivy Foundation,” said Rosalind Brewer. “As one of five first-generation college students of hard-working African-American parents, I understand some students’ economic and social challenges. I believe we all rise by lifting others, and as a fundamental aspect of human development and growth, education helps ensure people and communities thrive. Congratulations to all of the Summer Scholars!”​​

“We are thrilled to have Roz Brewer as our 2021 Leader of the Year,” said S. Caroline Kerr, Chair of the Joyce Ivy Foundation Board of Directors and member of the Leader of the Year Selection Committee. “Each year we look forward to this opportunity to connect our Scholars with amazing female role models. We hope that many will view Roz’s significant success as a beacon of possibility; from her roots in Detroit, she has achieved a great deal while always maintaining a commitment to lifting up young scholars and leaders. We are delighted that our community will have the chance to honor Roz alongside our 2021 Summer Scholars.”

“Roz’s message about being ‘the only one’ has resonated strongly with me, and I’m sure it will resonate strongly with other Joyce Ivy Scholars,” noted Aditi Adhikari, JIF ‘14 and member of the Joyce Ivy Foundation Associate Board. “At some point, many of us will face the challenge of being the ‘the only one’ in a room of leaders — whether we are the only female, the only person of color, the only one with rural roots, or the only one from our religious background — and I hope that we can shoulder that responsibility with as much grace and strength as she has.”

Ms. Brewer will be honored during the 16th Annual Joyce Ivy Foundation Summer Scholars Gala, which will be held virtually on Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 7 pm ET. During the event, she will address the 2021 Summer Scholars as they prepare for their summer program participation.

Past recipients of the Joyce Ivy Foundation Leader of the Year Award include: Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack, Michigan Supreme Court (2020); Faye Nelson, Michigan Director of the WK Kellogg Foundation (2019); Dr. Janet Reid, Chief Executive Officer of BRBS World (2018); Jocelyn Benson, Chief Executive Officer of Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) (2017); Susan L. Blount, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Prudential (retired) (2016); Valerie J. M. Brader, Executive Director of the Michigan Agency for Energy (2015); Lisa A. Payne, Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer of Taubman Centers, Inc. (2014); Lucy Clark Dougherty, Vice President and General Counsel of General Motors North America (2013); Deanna Mulligan, CEO of Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (2012); and Kim Schatzel, Dean of the University of Michigan – Dearborn College of Business (2011).

For 2021 Gala sponsorship opportunities, please contact Allison Jegla at