Laysha Ward is an accomplished C-suite executive with 30 years of leadership experience at Target. She has demonstrated an ability to lead through rapid change, solve problems, build innovative community programs, and collaborate with key stakeholders to support organizational goals and objectives.
In 2017, Ms. Ward was named Executive Vice President, Chief External Engagement Officer, overseeing Target’s enterprise-wide approach to engage and deepen relationships with cross-sector stakeholders to drive positive business and community impact. She is a founding member of the Racial Equity Action and Change committee (REACH), established in 2020 to help lead the organization’s strategy to drive lasting impact for Black team members, guests and communities.
Ms. Ward began her career with Target in 1991 as a member of the store sales and management team of Marshall Fields in Chicago. She was named Director of Community Relations in 2000 and promoted to Vice President of Community Relations and Target Foundation in 2003. She previously served as Executive Vice President, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer before being named to her current position.
In 2008, President Bush nominated and the U.S. Senate confirmed Ms. Ward to serve on the board of directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the nation’s largest grantmaker for volunteering and service. She continued on the board under the Obama Administration, where she served as board chair. Later that year, she was promoted to President of Community Relations and the Target Foundation.
She serves on the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Advisory Board and the Stanford Center for Longevity Advisory Council; is a member of the Executive Leadership Council, the Economic Clubs of New York and Chicago, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and The Links, and serves on the boards of Greater MSP, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Northside Achievement Zone. Laysha is also a member of Denny’s Corporation board of directors and United Airlines board of directors.
She received a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, master’s degree from the University of Chicago, and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
She and her husband, Bill, reside in Minneapolis, MN.