EVP & Global Head of Inclusion Strategy, Viacom; EVP, Public Affairs & Chief of Staff, Nickelodeon Group
Marva Smalls is the Executive Vice President and Global Head of Inclusion Strategy for Viacom and Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief of Staff for Nickelodeon. She reports directly to Viacom President and Chief Executive Officer, Bob Bakish.
As EVP and Global Head of Inclusion Strategy, Smalls works with company leadership to champion multiculturalism, inclusiveness and diversity worldwide through employee engagement and strategic partnerships. She has established and developed best-in-class diversity and inclusion initiatives, including Viacom’s employee resource groups, and advisory councils that foster a collaborative culture while driving innovation and business results. Under her leadership, Viacom has garnered top recognitions by GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign, NAACP and Working Mother, among others.
As Chief of Staff for Viacom’s Nickelodeon, Smalls partners with the President in directing financial resources, personnel and strategy. In her role as EVP of Public Affairs, she oversees all corporate social responsibility initiatives for Nickelodeon, including award-winning pro-social campaigns that have been recognized by presidential administrations and supported by leaders across the entertainment industry.
Before joining Viacom in 1993, Smalls was the Chief of Staff for U.S. Congressman Robin Tallon (D-SC) and served in the administration of Governor Richard Riley. She was the first African-American Chief of Staff for a white Southern Member of Congress.
Smalls is a founding board member of the Performing Arts Center in Florence, SC, and the Corporate Director of the National Bank of South Carolina. She serves on the University of South Carolina Presidential Advisory Committee and the boards of the Medical University of South Carolina Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York, National Council for Families and Television, The American Theatre Wing and the International African-American Museum.
Smalls holds graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of South Carolina, where she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities. Additionally, she founded the university’s Marva Smalls Endowment, which has awarded more than $1 million to programs for youth and families, as well as a $1 million endowment for the Ronald McNair Center to support engineering students from the under-represented populations. Her work has been honored by numerous national organizations including NAMIC, The National Action Network, and the T. Howard Foundation among others.
She resides in New York and South Carolina.