Elena Richards

Elena Richards

Chief Diversity Officer

Elena Richards is a Principal and Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer at KPMG LLP. She is an accomplished HR, talent management and diversity professional with deep knowledge of the professional services industry.

As CDEIO, Elena leads the firm’s national Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Center of Excellence and works closely with the KPMG U.S. Management Committee and Board of Directors to advance Accelerate 2025, the firm’s strategy rooted in growing and supporting a diverse workforce and inclusive work environment. Elena further collaborates with functional leaders on the business integration of the firm’s strategic priorities. The outcomes of her leadership have earned the firm recognition as a top workplace by Fortune, Fair360 (formerly DiversityInc), Seramount, Disability:IN, Human Rights Campaign, and more.

Elena leads key firmwide initiatives included in the ‘people’ section of the annual KPMG U.S. Impact Plan as well as the firm’s Business Resource Group (BRG) Leadership Council, which oversees 200+ national and local BRG chapters and inclusion councils. She serves on the KPMG Talent and Culture Leadership Team, driving collaboration with people-centric processes to further embed DEI in workforce shaping, workforce enablement, workforce innovation, organizational engagement and culture. She has hosted a series of chief diversity officer (CDO) peer exchanges, bringing together CDOs across various organizations to discuss DEI strategies and challenges impacting businesses across all industries.

With over 20 years of experience, Elena’s north star is to create psychologically safe workplaces and equitable experiences for everyone at KPMG. She is an ambassador of the firm’s DEI priorities and has championed KPMG being a signatory on pledges with organizations that support a diverse and inclusive workforce, including Ascend, the Business Roundtable, the Gender and Diversity KPI Alliance, Disability:IN and the Anti-Defamation League. In 2021, she was the recipient of the NJCPA Ovation award, recognized for her passion and contributions towards promoting diversity and inclusion across the finance and accounting profession. 

Elena earned her BA in criminal justice at the University at Albany, State University of New York, and is a certified executive coach.

She currently serves as a board member for the KPMG U.S. Foundation, Inc. and the Community Foundation of New Jersey. She is on the board of advisors for Catalyst, a member of the Boston College Center for Work & Family advisory board and a member of Seramount’s Diversity Best Practices collective. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ National Diversity & Inclusion Commission and was previously an advisory board member for Howard University’s Center for Accounting Education.