Danielle Marlene Robinson, Ph.D.
Director, Alcohol Policy and Reputation Management
Diageo North America
As director of alcohol policy and reputation management for Diageo North America, Danielle Marlene Robinson, Ph.D., is charged with promoting responsible drinking in communities the company serves, and with leading the company’s social impact programs. Robinson assumed this role just over a year ago and is proud of her initiatives to enrich multicultural communities. Through a partnership with Person-to-Person, a Connecticut-based nonprofit, 71 Diageo employees volunteered their time to transform a Norwalk distribution food center into a self-serve shopping food bank. “For people to shop with dignity when they have a need and not have somebody hand food to you is huge,” says Robinson.
Robinson holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick, a master’s degree in corporate communications from Seton Hall University, and a Ph.D. in public administration from Warren National University. She credits a “very stern and demanding supervisor” early in her career with laying the foundation for her professional development. “She told me; ‘You’re a Black woman. You’re in corporate. You need to do better, be better than everyone else.’ She shaped how I directed my career after that,” explains Robinson, who, at the time, was manager of employee relations at Simon and Schuster. She went on to hold human resources positions at Schering-Plough and Unilever before joining Diageo as the director of diversity, talent and organizational design in 2006.
As with many professionals, work-life balance is elusive for Robinson. She contends that such a balance is not possible, and instead focuses on making conscious choices and asking for help when needed. She strives to stay centered by living in the moment and practicing mindfulness. “I’m very much at peace with myself and with my life at the moment, which I think is a very powerful position to be in,” Robinson says.