Strada collaborates with students, policymakers, educators, and employers across the U.S. to strengthen the link between education and opportunity.
We prioritize policies, practices, and programs that help ensure postsecondary education provides equitable pathways to opportunity.
We advance our mission through research, grantmaking, social impact investments, public policy solutions, Strada-supported nonprofit organizations, and strategic initiatives.
Rhonda Powell joined Strada Education Foundation in January 2023 as executive vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary. Before joining Strada, Powell served as chief legal officer and corporate secretary of BuzzFeed Inc., where she led the company’s legal, business affairs, compliance, and governance functions. In that role, Powell guided the company through the most high-profile events in its history, including going public via a SPAC merger in December 2021; a $300 million Convertible Note issuance in December 2021; and the acquisition of digital media companies HuffPost in February 2021 and Complex Media Inc. in December 2021.
Powell has a proven track record of dynamic, inspired leadership and business experience, helping companies successfully develop strategic goals and maintain growth in changing economic, cultural, and regulatory environments. Powell is a valued partner, working with corporate and business unit leads on enterprisewide corporate initiatives, and a trusted advisor to board members. She is a skilled developer and manager of talented, multidisciplinary teams, having built departments of legal, business affairs, and compliance professionals who advise and protect companies with respect corporate and commercial transactions, litigation, labor union and employee relations matters, regulatory compliance (including privacy and cybersecurity), intellectual property protection, insurance coverage and risk mitigation, and corporate governance.
Powell previously served as senior vice president, chief legal officer, and corporate secretary of Complex Networks, a digital media company formed and owned as a joint venture by Hearst Communications Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. From 2004 to 2016, served in several roles of increasing responsibility at Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. (now part of Warner Discovery Inc.), including director, legal affairs; vice president, business affairs; and vice president, business and legal affairs.
Powell is nationally recognized for her commitment to, and impact on, diversity, inclusion and belonging within the legal profession. She is the 2022 recipient of the National Association of Women Lawyers’ Arabella Babb Mansfield Award for her careerlong advocacy, and is a frequent speaker on diversity and inclusion in legal practice, corporate America, and education.
Powell is a member of nonprofit boards committed to eliminating disparities in educational, resource, and professional access and opportunity, including PowerMyLearning Inc., the John A Reisenbach Foundation, and Food Education Fund. She was the 2021 recipient of PowerMyLearning’s Vision Award in recognition of her impact.
Powell began her legal career as a corporate associate practicing in New York. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University and Radcliffe College and received her Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan, where she was a Clarence Darrow Merit Scholar. She and her husband, Henry Powell, have three children and live in West Orange, New Jersey.