Commencement 2016


Cheryl Pearson-McNeil to Serve as Keynote Speaker for Claflin University’s 146th Commencement

Claflin University has announced that Cheryl Pearson-McNeil will deliver the 146th Commencement Convocation address on Saturday, May 7, 11 a.m. at the South Atlantic Seventh-day Adventist Convention Center, 514 Neeses Highway, Orangeburg., S.C.

Pearson-McNeil is the senior vice president of U.S. Strategic Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement for Nielsen, the leading global provider of information and insights that measures what consumers watch and buy in more than 100 countries around the world. Pearson-McNeil is responsible for increasing the company’s brand awareness among African-American, Asian American and Hispanic non-profit organizations, leaders and consumers – elevating their understanding of Nielsen’s measurement services to assist in improving the overall probability of their inclusion in Nielsen’s panels, studies and surveys.

Pearson-McNeil oversees the company’s philanthropic relationships and sponsorships with multicultural organizations across the U.S. She also oversees the company's multicultural advertising and communications strategies, including public relations, media relations and social media.  She joined Nielsen in 2004 and previously served as senior vice president of public affairs and government relations and senior vice president of communications.

Prior to Nielsen, Pearson-McNeil was director of station relations for the NBC affiliate in Chicago, and headed the marketing and communications departments for several multi-million dollar non-profit organizations, including, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago, The YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago and the Girl Scouts.

She currently serves on two Boards of Directors: the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana and the Better Government Association. She is co-chair of the Executives’ Club of Chicago’s Civic Committee; the Network of Executive Women’s Executive Leaders Forum’s Steering Committee and serves as a mentor for the University of Chicago’s Harris School for Public Policy mentor program. She is a former board member for The Museum of Broadcast Communications and the Chicago Foundation for Women.

Pearson-McNeil has been recognized with numerous national, regional and local honors plus featured in many publications. In 2012, Purdue University, named her a “Distinguished Alumna;” she was featured in Essence Magazine as a career advice expert; NBC’s The included her in its “2012 Class of 100 Americans Making History Today;” and Target Market News named her “Executive of the Year.” The Chicago Tribune also profiled her in its weekly “Remarkable Person” feature of power players in the Chicago area. She is also a frequent contributor to Upscale Magazine and writes a guest column about consumer and career-related topics.

Pearson-McNeil earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Purdue University and a Master of Business Administration from the Keller Graduate School of Management.