Recently, JPMorgan announced that Chief Executive Officer of Chase Consumer Banking, Thasunda Duckett, will be the first African-American named to the firm’s Operating Committee in the biggest expansion of its top leadership group in years.

“This is a reminder that I am my ancestors’ wildest dreams,” Duckett tells ESSENCE. “I like to say that I’m on the shoulders of giants. And it was the cooks and the janitors and the secretaries who introduced my melanin to corporate America that now, fast-forward, I actually have the opportunity to be on the operating committee.”

To ensure success for the future, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon decided to expand the Operating Committee to include the heads of their largest businesses. These executives’ current business roles and reporting lines will remain unchanged.

Still, as Operating Committee members, they will have increased responsibility for the company’s overall management, including executing the firm’s strategy and enhancing our strong culture. As a result, they will have broader exposure to firmwide issues and a greater opportunity to work more closely together as members of this senior leadership team. 

Duckett’s role will be expanded from the CEO of Chase Consumer Banking to include her Operating Committee duties.

When asked how she will continue to make an impact as part of the committee, Duckett says, “I think everything for me has always been anchored. My purpose is to inspire and make an impact. And so clearly, having the opportunity to be on the Operating Committee at JPMorgan Chase, a lot of gratitude to Jamie Dimon and Gordon Smith to have this opportunity.”

Duckett also explained that in addition to leading the consumer bank, this new chapter will allow her to be “at the table and having a voice not just for the business” but across the entire firm.

Currently, Duckett oversees a banking network with more than $600 billion in deposits, 5,000+ branches, 16,000+ ATMs, and 50,000 employees serving 25 million households nationwide. Under Duckett’s leadership, Chase has undergone a digital and physical transformation that contributed to its ranking as number 1 in customer satisfaction by J.D. Power, number 1 for its mobile app, and the number 1 most visited online portal among U.S. retail banks. 

“Over this period, our firm has also weathered some unprecedented challenges, including the current pandemic,” CEO of JP Morgan Chase, Jamie Dimon said in a statement. “I am proud of all our employees, our Operating Committee, and senior management teams. I am extremely grateful for the exceptional leadership they have shown over the decades, often under the most difficult of circumstances.”

Building on her passion for financial inclusion and empowerment, Duckett drives the bank’s development of new tools, products, and thought leadership in building financial health and wealth for all consumers. A trailblazer, Duckett has been recognized widely as a leading executive in the finance industry. In 2019, she was named one of Fortune’s Most Powerful “Women to Watch.”

Duckett hopes her expanded role will inspire young people to strive to accomplish their wildest dreams, “We can be at the highest levels of corporate America, and so I hope that young people of all backgrounds, little Black and brown girls and boys, will be able to see someone who looks like me, someone who has this unbelievable passion for saying ‘I too, can ascend. I, too, can be a CEO. I, too, can be on the Operating Committee. I, too, can someday do whatever it is that I aspire,’” says Duckett.

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