Charisse Lillie ’74, vice president of Community Investment of Comcast Corporation, delivered the 2013 keynote commencement address at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. The school, the oldest of the historically black colleges and universities in America, was founded in 1837 as the Institute for Colored Youth.
Lillie, who holds a J.D. from Temple University and an LLM degree from Yale Law School, received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Cheyney.
Cheyney University President Michelle Howard-Vital welcomed Lillie, saying that her “many accomplishments will inspire our new graduates to aim high as they approach their future.”
Lillie urged the new Cheyney graduates to be flexible and lifelong learners. “In this tough economy, you have made a decision to change,” she said. “You are entering a world that is changing. Education and training will be ongoing for you.”
Lillie joined Comcast in 2005 as vice president of human resources for Comcast Corporation and senior vice president of human resources for Comcast Cable.
Prior to joining the Comcast Foundation, she was a partner in the law firm of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP, serving as chair of the litigation department from 2002 to 2005. Her legal practice included the representation of employers and management in labor and employment matters, most frequently in federal court. She also served as an advisor on diversity and anti-discrimination issues.
Prior to joining the firm, Charisse’s legal experience included positions as trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division; Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; General Counsel to the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia; and City Solicitor of the City of Philadelphia.
A frequent lecturer and panelist on topics including talent management, recruitment and retention strategies, and diversity, she has also taught at Villanova Law School.
Additionally, Lillie has been a member of many civic commissions and served on the boards of a number of organizations and institutions. She was named a Distinguished Alumna of Wesleyan in 1993.
For more information on Lillie, see these links below: