Patricia Sowell Harris

Pat is responsible for the development and implementation of diversity strategies throughout McDonald’s Corporation including the 31,489 restaurants in 118 countries. She began her career with McDonald’s over 30 years ago as an administrative assistant in the Corporate Legal department. Harris was quickly promoted to several positions within the Human Resources department leading to her current global leadership role. Under her leadership, McDonald’s has been widely recognized for it’s commitment to inclusion and diversity. This recognition includes, Fortune Magazine’s “Top 50 Places for Minorities to Work”, Black Enterprise Magazine’s “Top 40 Companies for Diversity”, Latina Style Magazine’s “Best Companies for Latinas”, Asian Enterprise Magazine’s “Top 25 Companies for Asians,” and the “Disability Diversity Award” by Worklife Matters magazine. Harris is considered an expert in the field of diversity and holds several leadership positions in many national organizations. Pat is a founder and member of the Women’s Foodservice forum, founder and past chair of the MultiCultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance, and President of the Board of Directors for the Network of Strength (formerly Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization). Pat continues to share her experience with non-profit organizations through her work with the Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and DePaul University’s Board of Directors’ Institute for Business and Professional Ethics Committee. Pat has been featured in several national and local publications including Black Enterprise, Essence magazine, Chicago Tribune and Today’s Chicago Woman. Pat was named one of the “Top 10 Diversity Champions in the Country” by Working Mother magazine; she was named “Woman of the Year” by the Roundtable for Women in Foodservice and received the Eagle award from the International Franchise Association. Pat received her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration and Personnel Administration from Roosevelt University in Chicago. Harris resides in Chicago, Illinois and has one son and grand daughter.