North American Brand Director, DEI at NIKE
Detroit native Tony Chambers comes from a family of community activists. “Before ‘diversity and inclusion’ was a thing, it was just community engagement, and no one was getting paid for it — it was just something you did.” His mom was active in the local branch of the NAACP, and his father was a public defender.
He joined NIKE in 2021 as its North American Brand Director in DEI. Chambers has since worked in DEI leadership roles at Toyota, Keurig/Dr. Pepper, Salesforce and Google, where he led an initiative at Google Maps to make it easier to find Black-owned businesses and a certification program to help people without four-year degrees connect to tech jobs at the company. The program is currently in place in Chicago and Detroit.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from Tennessee State University in three years. While working toward an MBA from Oakland University, he worked in HR at Sodexo, filling jobs at Detroit Public Schools for janitors, electricians and other contractors. “I got really creative at making spaces and opportunities for people to find work,” Chambers said. His partnership-building efforts eventually led to a regional role at Sodexo — and caught the attention of a soon-to-be mentor who helped him land a job at Toyota.
Chambers has been Detroit-based since 2019.