The Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board (CED) uses cookies to improve our website, enhance your experience, and deliver relevant messages and offers about our products. Detailed information on the use of cookies on this site is provided in our cookie policy. For more information on how CED collects and uses personal data, please visit our privacy policy. By continuing to use this Site or by clicking "OK", you consent to the use of cookies.OK


Cynthia Cleveland

Chief Executive Officer and Founder


From unintentional entrepreneur to founding partner, Cynthia Cleveland has been a  five-time president/CEO – with an extensive consumer products background. She has built word class brands at Carnation Foods (now Nestle), Mattel Toys, Universal Studios, Teleflora Gifts and Imaginarium.  Most recently, Cleveland founded BroadThink, a global media, marketing and branding company. Cleveland is a Lean In Champion and current chair of the Women’s YPO Network, which brings together nearly 1,000 male and female members dedicated to connecting and empowering female chief executives.

What inspired you to become a CED Trustee?

When I was catching up with my friend Maggie Wilderotter, who is the Co-Chair of CED's Board, she suggested that the Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative with the “Every Other One” campaign was totally in line with my objectives as Chair of the Women’s YPO Network. My initial reaction was that I was too busy, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was the perfect time to really focus on the issue through the power of both organizations.

What do you hope to accomplish as a CED Trustee?

I intend to be an engaged member on the Board Initiative and provide my time and energy to make “Every Other One” more than a slogan. As time permits, I look forward to getting more involved in the other initiatives.

What was your first business?

One summer in college I started a private summer school with six students when some of my professors couldn’t find a summer program for their kids. Our “classroom” rotated between professors’ homes (free rent) and my car was always full of activities and kids. It was my first experience as an unintentional entrepreneur!

Who is/are your business role models?

Dr. Peter Diamandis, CEO of the X Prize Foundation. His big vision of inspiring people to create new companies to impact 1 billion people positively in 10 years is awe inspiring. I love the fact that these prizes have motivated so many to attempt to reach really big breakthroughs.

@CEDUpdate Where Does the US Government Get Its Money? Part 4 of our Debt 101 series answers this exact question! Read it now: