Charlene Lake is responsible for leading AT&T’s social innovation, environmental, philanthropic and civic engagement endeavors, driving stakeholder impact measures on behalf of the corporation, and coordinating signature initiatives that connect social needs with business objectives.
Charlene began her professional life as a journalist, working on daily newspapers in Kansas. She started her career at Southwestern Bell Telephone in Topeka, and served in management roles in Financial Communications, Media Relations and Employee Communications in Kansas, Missouri and Texas. She went on to lead SBC’s Corporate Advertising and Sports Marketing departments, managing them through multiple mergers, and thereafter created a Public Affairs discipline for the company. In 2007, she designed and launched AT&T’s centralized Corporate Responsibility function which she still leads today.
Charlene serves as vice chair of National Urban League board of trustees, chair of the National Points of Life Institute Corporate Service Council, board of directors at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, board of directors at the Baylor, Scott and White Health Care System, and executive board of the National Public Affairs Council.
Charlene was honored as a recipient of NUL’s Women of Power Award and by the Texas Diversity and Leadership Conference as one of the most powerful and influential women leaders in the state. She received the Distinguished Woman Award and honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Northwood University, was recognized as Advertising Person of the year by the Ad Club of New York and received the Iron Jawed Angel Award from the Luger Excellence in Public Service Series in Washington, D.C.
A mass communication graduate of Kansas State University, Charlene serves on the Advisory Council at KSU’s A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, and is on the board of directors of the Kansas State University Foundation.
Charlene and her husband, Rod, have two grown children and live in Dallas.