Helga Ying, MAVice President, External Engagement and Social Responsibility, American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. New York, NY
Helga Ying has more than 20 years of experience providing strategic leadership and consulting to corporations in the areas of corporate citizenship, government affairs, public policy, community affairs, crisis and external communications, and stakeholder engagement. She is currently Vice President of External Engagement and Social Responsibility at American Eagle Outfitters (AEO). In this position, she is responsible for the strategic development, planning and execution of AEO’s Social Responsibility, Government Affairs and Public Policy, Community Affairs and Foundation initiatives to fortify the company’s assets and brand reputation while supporting its business objectives worldwide. Ms. Ying also leads the company’s crisis and external communications, as well as its social compliance to promote safe and healthy working conditions within the supply chain.
Ms. Ying represents AEO as a member of the Board of Directors for the U.S. Fashion Industry Association (USFIA), a member of the U.S. Cotton Board, and the U.S. and Canada liaison to the Bangladesh Accord. She also served as an advisor to the U.S. government as a representative on the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Textiles and Apparel.
Prior to joining AEO, Ms. Ying worked at Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) for 13 years. She held the position of Senior Director of Worldwide Government Affairs and Public Policy, where she was the principal advisor and strategist on government affairs and public policy. Her responsibilities included international trade and corporate citizenship (environmental sustainability, equality and social justice, HIV/AIDS, labor and worker rights), brand protection and other issues that promote LS&Co.’s business success and social responsibility.
Ms. Ying previously served as Program Manager and then Director of Member Services at Business for Social Responsibility, where she advised member companies on a range of corporate social responsibility issues, including community involvement, global and strategic philanthropy, human rights, volunteerism and workplace diversity. Ms. Ying was also a member of Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s staff as a legislative assistant both in the Foreign Policy office and on the Labor and Human Resources Committee.
Ms. Ying holds a Master of Arts in International Relations and Economics from The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and a bachelor’s degree from Macalester College. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany, where she studied business management and labor relations.
Ms. Ying joined the FHI 360 Board of Directors in 2011 and chairs the Human Resources Committee.