Latondra NewtonChief Social Innovation Officer, Toyota Motor North America, Inc.
As the senior-most African-American woman at the world’s largest automotive manufacturing company, Latondra Newton is charged with leading an integrated, holistic social responsibility strategy for Toyota in North America and globally. Appointed to this newly created position in 2013, Ms. Newton has responsibility for guiding Toyota’s role and continued commitment as a leading global corporate citizen, a critical priority for Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda.
As a member of Toyota’s North American Management Committee, Ms. Newton is responsible for Toyota’s philanthropy, community relations and diversity and inclusion activities as well as the Toyota USA Foundation, which has a $100 million endowment. In her role, Ms. Newton, for the very first time, brings together all of Toyota’s diversity, philanthropy and community relations functions from across North America under one umbrella. Ms. Newton is responsible for the Toyota Global Mobility Foundation, a new fund of $35-$40 million annually with a focus on safety, access and ecology. Established in 2014, the Foundation is designed to create value in communities globally by sharing Toyota’s knowledge to advance the freedom of mobility for everyone.
Ms. Newton began her career at Toyota in 1991 and since then has held a variety of senior leadership roles spanning public affairs & marketing, engineering, corporate planning, research, philanthropy, diversity and more. Prior to her current role, she was the group vice president and chief diversity officer at Toyota’s North American corporate division (TMA) where she oversaw philanthropy and corporate diversity and inclusion strategy. Automotive News named Ms. Newton a “Rising Star Under 35” in 2000 and one of the “100 Leading Women in the North American Automotive Industry” in 2010. A member of the Board of Directors for the Manufacturing Institute, she chairs a new initiative focused on enhancing opportunities for women to enter and grow in professional careers in the manufacturing industry. Ms. Newton also serves on the board of Saint Bernard Project, dedicated to rebuilding homes and lives in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy and other disasters.