Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion
TD Bank Group
Professionally, Kelley F. Cornish is the global head of diversity and inclusion (D&I) at TD Bank Group, responsible for leading a team focused on promoting D&I strategy across the organization’s U.S. and Canada offices. Privately, she sees herself as a philanthropist, committed to elevating women by giving her time, talent, and resources to causes devoted to single mothers and women living below their potential.
Her inspiration? Her mother. “My father was present, but not part of my everyday growing up. The brunt of family leadership was on my mom, and she carried that torch effortlessly,” she explains. Cornish herself never wanted to be a single mother, but she ended up being as one for 10 years. “Raising African-American boys in the suburbs wasn’t easy; there were a lot of tradeoffs. But instead of being a victim of that circumstance, I navigated through it,” she says.
She is involved with various organizations to help others, such as the United Negro College Fund, and is the recipient of several honors and awards, including the Woman of Excellence Award for Business & Industry from the Girl Scouts of Augusta, Ga.
She is most proud, however, of her 2017 Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Award from Pierce College in Philadelphia. “This award was significant because it captured and culminated with the D&I work I tried so hard to integrate into the Philadelphia workplace and marketplace,” she notes.
Cornish graduated from the University of South Carolina-Aiken with a bachelor’s in business administration, and from Webster University with a master’s in human resource management. She did not set out to gain recognition for her work, she remarks, but only wanted to open doors for the next generation. “However,” she concedes, “it is heartfelt to be noticed in the community for being part of the change we all strive to see.”