Herschel Herndon served as chief diversity officer for Thrivent, a Fortune 500 not-for-profit, financial services organization. Herndon and his team developed Thrivent’s strategy for diversity and inclusion as it relates to internal and external partnerships that support the organization’s financial growth, talent recruitment and retention, and strategic community partnerships.
Herndon is a globally networked and respected diversity and inclusion thought leader. Prior to joining Thrivent in 2019, Herndon was vice president and United States Country Head, Diversity and Inclusion for global healthcare company Novartis. Herndon previously served as chief diversity officer, vice president of Multicultural Relations & Urban Growth Initiatives and vice president of Local Market Development at Best Buy. He also directed global diversity efforts at Stanley Works and Deluxe Corporation. As president and founder of HRH Global Connections, Herndon has consulted with organizations on comprehensive strategies, market development and growth. Additionally, he serves as a subject matter expert for the Centre for Global Inclusion’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks. With the inclusion of Thrivent, Herndon has now served as a diversity and inclusion leader in five industries for five major companies. His experiences have shaped his strategic outlook around diversity and inclusion.
Beyond his work experiences, Herndon has established strong relationships in the community and is passionate about outreach. For example, he worked with Save the Children’s World Marathon Challenge, engaging more than 20,000 participants in 40 countries. He was a member of the Mayo Clinic’s Minneapolis Leadership Council. He has been acknowledged as one of the Top 40 Inspirers in America by InSpire Magazine.
Herndon has a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He enjoys long-distance running and has competed internationally in major marathons. He and his family live in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. He is married to Lisa Annette and has two children, Zoë and Kameron.