Dara Treseder hails from Nigeria in West Africa. Like many African children, Treseder did not have a privileged upbringing but education was treasured in her family. Her grandfather had to literally empty his bank out in order to finance her education in the United States.
Treseder attended Harvard University, where she graduated with honors. For such an investment, Treseder is eternally grateful to her parents, grandparents, and family. According to Treseder, her mother has been the biggest inspiration and emboldened her to dream big.
“My mother used to always repeat this saying to me, which is the north star for my life: ‘Ambition with contentment,’ she recalled. “When I was young, I didn’t know what that meant, but now I know exactly what it means. She always encouraged me to not just accept the world as it is but to think about the world as it should be and allow myself to be an architect of that destiny.”
Treseder would go on to land top marketing roles at powerful corporations such as General Electric, Apple, and Goldman Sachs. At GE, she worked as the Chief Marketing Officer of GE Business Innovations and GE Ventures.
At Apple, she worked as Global Head of Demand Generation for FileMaker and was in charge of marketing and growth effort at Goldman Sachs.
She recently made news after she was appointed by Peloton, the world’s largest interactive fitness platform, as Senior Vice President, Head of Global Marketing and Communications. In her role, Treseder will oversee brand marketing, consumer insights, communications, and creativity.
According to Forbes, shares of $30 billion Peloton surged more than 320% as the pandemic made its bikes, treadmills, and workout app go from a luxury to a must-have. Also, Peloton has more than 2.6 million members.
Treseder was featured on Forbes’ inaugural CEO Next list which profiled 50 CEOs on the cusp of running America’s most influential and respected companies. She has also been recognized by AdWeek as one of the Women Trailblazers.
The Business Insider has also recognized her as one of the Top 25 Most Innovative CMOs in the World. What is more, Treseder has also been described by AdAge as one of the Women to Watch, and by Inc. Magazine as one of the 30 Inspirational Women to Watch in Tech.
One of the challenges she has had to overcome as a leader is “the unfortunate reality of being a Black woman in America,” she told marie claire. “Everybody else gets the benefit of a doubt, and we—even in spite of proving ourselves—have to reprove and reprove. The thing I have had to overcome is getting more bold and courageous about advocating for myself.”
For other Black women aspiring to be like her, Treseder’s advice is to seek out opportunities that create other opportunities. According to her, when she started her career, she was undervalued but she had to push herself up to the top.
“So even when you’re in a situation where people don’t see your value, you need to say to yourself, “I’m not going to throw away my talents or not use them just because this person doesn’t appreciate them. I don’t need validation from other people. I can validate myself,” she told Stanford University’s graduate page.
Aside from her bachelor’s degree, Treseder also has an MBA from Stanford University.