Ann Marie Brown Fudge, former Corporate CEO, was born on April 23, 1951, in Washington, DC, to Malcolm R. Brown, an administrator at the United States Postal Service, and Bettye Lewis Brown, a manager at the National Security Agency (NSA).
Ann married Richard Fudge, Sr., an educational and training consultant, on February 27, 1971. Richard Fudge, II and Kevin Fudge were their sons. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in retail management from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts, two years later, in 1972, and enrolled in Harvard University Business School, where she earned her Master of Business Administration degree in 1977.
Fudge worked as a workforce specialist for General Electric from 1973 to 1975. From 1977 to 1986, she worked for General Mills Corporation in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in various leadership positions such as marketing assistant, assistant product manager, product manager, and marketing director. From 1986 to 1989, she worked as an associate director of strategic planning at Kraft General Foods in White Plains, New York. In 1989, she was promoted to vice president of marketing and development in Kraft’s Dinners and Enhancers division. During this time, Fudge received the Harlem YMCA’s Black Achievers award.
Kraft Foods appointed Fudge president of the Maxwell House Coffee division in 1994. She became the first African American woman to lead a corporate division after receiving that promotion. While working as an executive vice president at Kraft, Fudge was named 30th on Fortune magazine’s list of the 50 Most Influential Women in American Business in 1998. Fudge also received honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from Adelphi University, Howard University, Marymount College, and Simmons College.
From 2003 to 2005, Fudge was the chairman and CEO of Young and Rubicam Advertising in New York City. She became a member of the Board of Trustees at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as a Trustee with the Rockefeller Foundation in 2006.
In 2008 she was a member of the Barack Obama presidential campaign’s finance committee and in 2010, Fudge was named by President Obama to the 18-member National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.
In September 2010, Fudge was listed as one of several possible candidates to replace Larry Summers as director of the National Economic Council. She did not get the post and in September 2011, Fudge joined the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Also, during that year, Fudge served on the boards of directors of General Electric, Novartis, and Unilever. She also served as chair of the U.S. Programs Advisory Board of The Gates Foundation and as vice-chair of the Harvard Board of Overseers (Trustees).
In 2019, Fudge was installed into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Ann Marie Brown Fudge also serves on the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture in the District of Columbia.