Samford University

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Laura Gessner Kelly

Laura Gessner Kelly ’78 is chief product officer at Dun & Bradstreet [D&B]. She is also a member of D&B’s global leadership team. She is responsible for the company’s global product portfolios, including the development and execution of D&B’s future product strategy.Laura Gessner Kelly

Prior to joining D&B in 2013, Kelly was senior vice president and general manager of the Americas at American Express, and served as its leader for global new product development. She led the company into new markets, and expanded geographic and product depth by launching 14 products globally within eight months. She launched Bluebird, a partnership with Walmart to deliver a checking and debit alternative for Walmart customers. Kelly’s innovations have resulted in a number of industry accolades, the most recent of which was her 2013 selection as one of the most influential women in payments. 

Kelly has spent more than 20 years in senior leadership roles, enabling business growth through senior strategy, financial, product development and marketing positions. Previously, she was executive vice president, global prepaid product solutions, at MasterCard Worldwide, where she created and executed its successful global prepaid strategy, earning MasterCard seven of the world’s largest prepaid opportunities. Earlier roles include senior vice president and chief operating officer at Southwest Business Corporation; consultancy practice leader—strategy, process re-engineering and performance management at The Concours’ Group; vice president, Alliance; management and product development, USAA.

Kelly served as an active duty and later reserve officer in the Air Force, where she also held progressively responsible financial leadership positions. She holds an M.B.A. from Auburn University. She has a CPA license as well as a chartered property and casualty underwriter designation.

 Learn more about Samford University’s centennial coeducation honorees.

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