President & CEO, The SilverParker Group
Esther Silver-Parker, President and CEO of the SilverParker Group, a consultancy specializing in corporate responsibility and reputation, stakeholder relationship management, and leadership development, has made advocacy for social change on behalf of minorities and women a lifetime cause and professional calling.
Before opening her firm in 2010, Silver-Parker served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Walmart Stores, Inc., where she was charged with the strategic planning and execution of the company’s corporate responsibility, reputation, and relationship management among key national and international stakeholders. She also focused on issues that affect emerging markets and small businesses. Prior to this position, she served as Senior Vice President of Diversity Relations for Walmart and was responsible for the company’s diversity strategy. She was a leader in establishing Walmart’s office of diversity. She developed the company’s first diversity and inclusion strategy, grew supplier diversity procurement by $3 billion dollars, established a corporate external advisory council and developed Walmart’s first stakeholder summit. She is recognized for helping to transform Walmart’s reputation among key stakeholders.
Prior to joining Wal-Mart, Silver-Parker served 28 years in various public relations functions for AT&T, including Vice President of Corporate Affairs and President of the AT&T Foundation. She also directed AT&T’s National Constituency Relations and Issues Management Departments and led the company’s award-winning corporate social responsibility programs, including programs that grew the number of diverse people in such disciplines as engineering, business, arts, and small business. Silver-Parker led AT&T’s public relations field offices in the Northeast, the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. She designed and implemented the plan to increase AT&T’s presence in local communities in the U.S. and developed the design for AT&T’s field public relations organization worldwide. She also developed AT&T’s first stakeholder relations organizations. She was the recipient of the Catherine Cleary Award, the highest leadership honor AT&T gives to an employee.
Earlier in her career, she was an associate editor for Essence magazine and served as managing editor for the Review of Black Political Economy. During her corporate career, she served in volunteer leadership positions for over 50 national and international nonprofit organizations. She developed a next-generation women’s leadership organization in South Africa and directly supports programs to assist women in completing their college education. Silver-Parker currently serves on the boards of the Global Food Banking Network, Spelman College, the Arkansas Women’s Foundation, the NAACP Special Contributions Committee, the Marketing Committee of the Southern Tennis Association, the Membership Committee of the United States Tennis Association, the board of Enterprising Women magazine, and the board of the International Women’s Forum Leadership Foundation. She also served as President of the International Women’s Forum (IWF), a global organization with 6,000 members and chapters in 30 countries. She led the organization into a new, global expansion and grew its presence in Europe and North Africa. Additionally, she developed IWF’s Executive Development Roundtable Series across four continents. She also amassed the most productive individual fund-raising record in the organization’s 29-year history. As president of the National AIDS Fund, she successfully led the organization out of bankruptcy.
She has traveled in Europe, Africa, and South America to study, write, and speak about the health conditions and quality of life of women and children. She is a frequent speaker on issues pertaining to women’s education, empowerment, diversity and inclusion, corporate social responsibility, strategic philanthropy, and public relations operations. She is featured in the books Yes I Can Do That, Do Your Giving While You’re Living and Organizational Champions. She received more than 70 awards from national civic and leadership organizations. Silver-Parker received a Master’s in Journalism from Columbia University and a Bachelors of Arts, Magna Cum Laude, in Political Science from North Carolina Central University. She is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University’s Executive Management Program and holds an Honorary Doctor’s in Humane Letters from Benedict College.