Steve Pemberton

Author and Walgreens VP & Chief Diversity Officer

Steve Pemberton is a ground-breaking corporate executive, critically acclaimed author and tireless youth advocate. Named Divisional Vice-President and Chief Diversity Officer for Walgreens in 2011, he is the first person to assume this responsibility in the company’s 112 year history.
Prior to joining Walgreens, Steve served as Vice-President at, overseeing one its largest recruitment businesses growing that division into a multi-million dollar enterprise. During his tenure, he was named Chief Diversity Officer of Monster, becoming the first Chief Diversity Officer of an Internet company. In 2006, Steve was called to Washington to provide expert testimony on how the government could better diversify its workforce. Later that year he was recognized in Fortune Magazine as one of the Top Chief Diversity Officers in corporate America.

Prior to his arrival at, Steve headed up operations for College Link, an online educational company and oversaw the firm’s ultimate acquisition by Monster.
One of America’s most inspiring executives, Steve's astounding journey through foster care and relentless search for family is captured in his critically-acclaimed and beautifully written memoir, A Chance in the World (Harper Collins January 2012). Now being translated into Chinese, Steve's story has captured the hearts of audiences across the United States and abroad and has been featured in various media outlets from People Magazine and Crain’s Chicago Business to in the United Kingdom.
Steve’s life story inspired the State of Indianapolis to launch a massive book drive to assist children in foster care. To date the Books for Youth program, with broad support from the Indianapolis Colts, has resulted in donations of over 750,000 books, one of the largest book drives engineered in the state of Indiana. For his efforts the Indianapolis Colts recognized Steve with its 2010 12th Man Award.

In 2012, Steve was recognized by Boston College as one of its most distinguished alumni. His advocacy for young people has been recognized and honored by more than 100 organizations and institutions. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Professional Diversity Network, the Governor’s Board for UCAN of Chicago and the President’s Board of The Home for Little Wanderers in Boston. In his honor the Pemberton Fund for the Future was established at The Home for Little Wanderers. In addition, in recognition of his service to youth, UCAN has named one of their facilities after Steve.

September 22, 2013

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