Jason Rosario, who founded social-impact creative agency The Lives of Men, is joining BBDO Worldwide to help build its cultural awareness and inclusivity as chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer.
Rosario starts his new role on September 8 and told Campaign US his first order of business will be to “ingrain and embed inclusive principals into every aspect of the business.”
This includes assessing how the agency currently educates its people about diversity and inclusion, and shaping and implementing bias training and broadening the talent pipeline.
His role will be more than an HR position, Rosario said. He will report to BBDO Worldwide’s president and CEO, Andrew Robertson.
“My work will filter through to the advertising itself,” he said. “Very early on, in conversations with Andrew and the leadership team, we discussed whether this is an HR position or does my role partner across the organization.
“We were all on the same page. It was very clear that one of the most important things I will do is to partner with creative teams and make sure the work we are putting out complements our values.”
Rosario will first help fine-tune and communicate BBDO’s values. After evangelising these messages across the US organization, he will roll them out globally with tweaks market by market.
He will also broaden talent searches outside university programs and interagency recruiting. “You don’t need a master’s degree in creativity to be a great creative director,” he said.
As founder and CEO of The Lives of Men, launched in 2017, Rosario aimed to dispel negative stereotypes of Black and Latino men perpetrated by law enforcement and mainstream media. He has worked with Netflix, Spotify and The Huffington Post.
He previously worked for Verizon Media Group as manager of global diversity and inclusion. Rosario also was executive producer and host of Dear Men, a Yahoo! News web series.
A graduate of NYU’s Stern School of Business, he also sits on the board of Made of Millions, a nonprofit that combats stigmas surrounding mental health.