Charlene F. Lake
Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility & Chief Sustainability Officer
Charlene Lake is responsible for leading AT&T’s social innovation, philanthropic and volunteerism 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 1986 in Topeka, and served in management roles in Financial Communications, Media Relations and Employee Communications in Kansas, Missouri and Texas. In the mid-1990s, Charlene led SBC’s Corporate Advertising and Sports Marketing department, managing the organizations through the mergers of Pacific Bell, Southern New England Telephone and Ameritech. She created a Public Affairs discipline within SBC External Affairs and in 2007, launched AT&T’s centralized Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability function.
Charlene serves on the board of trustees and as secretary of the National Urban League (NUL), the board of directors and executive committee of the Public Affairs Council, the board of directors of America’s Promise Alliance and the board of directors of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. She also serves as an adviser to the Institute for Economic Empowerment for Women, which among other projects, teaches women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda about free enterprise and market power.
Charlene was honored as a recipient of NUL’s Women of Power Award and also recognized 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 an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Northwood University. Charlene 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.