Ambassador Bonnie McElveen-Hunter is the Founder and CEO of Pace, the largest independently owned custom content agency in the nation, serving Fortune 500 companies. She was appointed as the first woman National Chairman of the Board of the American Red Cross in 2004 and is currently serving her fifth term. In 2007, she co-founded the American Red Cross Tiffany Circle Society of Women Leaders, which has grown to include 63 Chapters. To date, Tiffany Circle Chapters nationwide have raised over $200 million dollars.
Ambassador Hunter served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Finland from 2001-2004. As Ambassador, she initiated the Stop Child Trafficking: End Modern-Day Slavery and Children of Karelia program, as well as founded the Women Business Leaders Summit®, a model for business entrepreneurship partnering women business leaders around the world. She was awarded one of Finland’s highest honors – The Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the Lion.
As a long-time philanthropist and charitable-cause activist, Ambassador Hunter served on a United Way of America board and chaired the Alexis de Tocqueville Society, founding the first Billion Dollar National Women’s Leadership Initiative which to date has raised over $2 billion dollars. She currently serves on the boards of the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts, Blair House Fund, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Museum of the Bible, Macedonian Ministries, Inc., Elon University School of Law, Ellis Island Foundation, Max Planck Institute for Neuroscience, Norton Museum of Art, and the Society of the Four Arts where she also serves as Chairman of the Esther B. O’Keeffe Speaker Series.
Awards and Honors: Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Points of Light Tribute, Carolina Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, North Carolina Award for Public Service, Courage Visionary Award from National Historically Black Colleges & Universities Alumni Association, Internationalism Award, American Women for International Understanding, North Carolina Society of New York Honoree, United Way Women’s Leadership Award, United Way National Women’s Leadership Council’s Inaugural Women in Philanthropy Award, National Alexis de Tocqueville Society, John M. Templeton Biblical Values, Appeal of Conscience Public Service Award, Ellis Island Medal of Honor, Lifetime Member of Hadassah, Lifetime Member of Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc., Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from North Carolina State University, Dr. Carl-Christian Rosenbröijer Award, Woman Entrepreneur of the Year by National Foundation for Women Legislatures, National Athena Award, Northwood University Outstanding Business Leader, Trailblazer of the Year by Women Leaders Forum, and Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame.
Ambassador Hunter lives in Palm Beach, Florida, Greensboro, North Carolina, and Washington, DC. Her husband, Bynum Merritt Hunter, Sr. (deceased) practiced law with Smith Moore Law in Greensboro for over 60 years. Their son, Bynum Merritt Hunter, Jr., is a graduate of Williams and Harvard Business School.