Maria Eitel

Director's Office
  • Founder and Co-Chair, Nike Foundation
  • Founder and Chair, The Girl Effect

Maria Eitel has been a leader at Nike, the Girl Effect, Microsoft, and the White House. 

She has most recently been part of the creation of the TIME’S UP movement and is on the founding Council for the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace. Both initiatives address the complex and inter-related causes of the problems of parity and power in the workplace. Both efforts seek to achieve the ultimate goal of creating a culture of inclusion in the entertainment industry and beyond.

Eitel was the founding CEO of the Nike Foundation in 2005 and continues as its co-chair. She created its focus on adolescent girls as the highest point of leverage in breaking inter-generational cycles of poverty and unleashing untapped human potential. In 2015, Eitel led the transition of the Girl Effect from an initiative of the Nike Foundation and partners to an independent organization. Today she chairs the Girl Effect Board of Directors.  

Eitel originally joined Nike in 1998 as its founding VP of Corporate Responsibility, establishing Nike's CSR agenda and structure including labor practices, sustaina… View full description

Maria Eitel has been a leader at Nike, the Girl Effect, Microsoft, and the White House. 

She has most recently been part of the creation of the TIME’S UP movement and is on the founding Council for the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace. Both initiatives address the complex and inter-related causes of the problems of parity and power in the workplace. Both efforts seek to achieve the ultimate goal of creating a culture of inclusion in the entertainment industry and beyond.

Eitel was the founding CEO of the Nike Foundation in 2005 and continues as its co-chair. She created its focus on adolescent girls as the highest point of leverage in breaking inter-generational cycles of poverty and unleashing untapped human potential. In 2015, Eitel led the transition of the Girl Effect from an initiative of the Nike Foundation and partners to an independent organization. Today she chairs the Girl Effect Board of Directors.  

Eitel originally joined Nike in 1998 as its founding VP of Corporate Responsibility, establishing Nike's CSR agenda and structure including labor practices, sustainability, community affairs and governance.  She led the turnaround of the company’s global “sweatshop crisis” into a strong business asset.  

In her early career, Eitel was a television reporter and producer before joining the White House as special assistant to the President for media affairs.  From there, she went on to manage communications and public relations at MCI Communications, was the director of public affairs for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and lead Corporate Affairs for Microsoft’s European operations in Paris, France. 

Eitel serves on the Board of GoFundMe, is co-chair of the Nike Foundation, chair of the Girl Effect, board director of the University of Washington Foundation and the Eastern Congo Initiative, and an advisor to the MIT Media Lab.  She previously served on the Board of the SAFECO Corporation and the Stanford Graduate School of Business.  She has been a speaker at national and global forums like Google Zeitgeist and in 2012 was recognized by Fast Company for their “League of Extraordinary Women." 

After earning her bachelor of arts from McGill University and master of science in foreign service from Georgetown University, Eitel completed the Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Program.  She also holds an honorary doctorate of humanity from Babson College and is a visiting fellow of practice at the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University.