Partner, Planning Director
Ogilvy & Mather
New York City
As a teenager, Nsenga Magnus Farrell kept an article about Ann Fudge, then a high-ranking African-American executive at Kraft Foods, taped to the inside of her notebook. “Witnessing Mrs. Fudge’s fierce determination and leadership as a pioneering marketer and senior executive inspired me to dream bigger and reach higher as a young Black woman,” says Farrell. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in communication and culture, both from New York University, Farrell has traveled successfully along the path blazed by Fudge. She began her advertising career as a brand planner at Arnold Worldwide and joined Ogilvy & Mather in 2006.
As a planning director at Ogilvy, Farrell leads consumer marketing strategy for clients such as American Express and Merck. One of her most gratifying assignments was overseeing the strategic planning of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” childhood obesity campaign for parents/caregivers. “[I enjoy] knowing that I am improving the lives of millions of people by educating and encouraging them to make better choices,” says Farrell. Accolades for her work include an Effie Award for Advertising Effectiveness and a PhaMe Award.
One of few African-American female executives in advertising, Farrell sits on the boards of the Women’s Professional Leadership Network and the Black Women’s Roundtable at Ogilvy and mentors young professionals in the agency’s Associates Program. She is a passionate advocate for girls and women in the Caribbean and a philanthropic investor in higher education in her native U.S. Virgin Islands. Witnessing her mother, Judith Farrell, work diligently to earn a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, while raising three young children, has motivated her to be an equally impressive role model for her niece. “I am committed to laying the very best foundation I can for Niisa and spurring her to even greater heights of achievement,” says Farrell.
Last movie: “Night Catches Us”
Favorite author: Zora Neale Hurston
Favorite sport: Cycling