Influential Leader

Teresa White

President, Aflac U.S.
Recognition Year(s): 2022
School: Sorrell College of Business, Troy University
Location: United States

With more than two decades of experience in financial services, Teresa White is a veteran in the industry and a visionary leader with a proven record of augmenting operations, driving revenue, ensuring equal pay for equal work, and fostering an inclusive and diverse workforce. 

White is truly a trailblazer as a champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion. In her June 2021 opinion piece, “Racial Justice and Diversity in Business Requires Leadership,” published in USA Today, she states, “If diversity is to be achieved in business, the motivation, concentration, and even the inspiration must start at the top. Survey respondents don’t call for faceless corporations to step up—they call for leaders.”

Under White’s guidance, Aflac is thriving financially, and diversity and inclusion is very real: 65 percent of the company's 5,700 employees are women and nearly 50 percent are people of color. Her leadership has garnered much praise throughout the business world, and Aflac was recently ranked No. 9 on the Forbes America’s Best Employers for Diversity 2021 list.

Leadership development is one of White’s passions and is demonstrated by her development of the Aflac Career Success Center, which was so effective that it spread to multiple campuses throughout the company. The center works with all divisions and was established to coach, empower, and assist employees as they prepare for career opportunities, enhancing Aflac’s position to grow and retain talent. Her proven leadership led to her being named to Black Enterprise’s list of the Most Powerful Women in Business from 2017 to 2019. 

White’s passion for education and mentorship is exemplified in the way she gives back and inspires future leaders in the local community. In 2015, she created Bold Moves, an eight-week summer program at Girls Inc. in Columbus, Georgia, developed to inspire African American girls ages 13 to 17. Nearly 30 women who are community and business leaders teach the girls lessons ranging from personal finance and entrepreneurship to business etiquette, résumé writing, and more. It is clear that White is driven to help these girls because she can relate to the challenges they face in transitioning toward adulthood.

White and her sister were raised by their single mother in what would be generously described as affordable housing in Dallas, where opportunities for young, African American women were scarce. White credits mentorship for helping her overcome those obstacles and setting her on her career path. In a recent news story, White said, “I want to be a lighthouse,” and Bold Moves “is an opportunity to show a different picture of what success looks like.” 

In addition to her graduate management degree from Troy University, White holds an undergraduate degree in information systems from the University of Texas at Arlington.