Tara Walpert Levy
Tara Walpert Levy is the Vice President of Agency and Brand Solutions
Tara Walpert Levy leads Agency and Brand Solutions for Google and YouTube. She is responsible for Google's advertising and tech business through third-party agencies and marketing partners. She also runs specialist businesses ranging from Measurement to Creative to Multicultural solutions as well as Industry Relations. Before this, Tara led Ads Marketing for Google, YouTube, and Doubleclick.
Tara has been on the Board of Bloomin' Brands, Inc. since 2013 and is the Chair of the Advisory Council of Next Gen Board Leaders. She is also the Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) and a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Ad Council.
Prior to Google, Tara was the President of Visible World (now owned by Comcast NBCU), building the company into the leading targeted TV advertising platform. She was also a leader of the Global Media & Entertainment and Sales & Marketing practices at McKinsey & Company.
Tara writes and speaks frequently on the shifting marketing and media landscape, the evolving responsibility and impact of public boards, and the value of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She has been inducted into the AAF Advertising Hall of Achievement, identified as a dMexco Global Trailblazer, and named as one of Fast Company's “Most Creative People in Business.”
Tara lives in New York City with her husband and three children.
What brought you to Davos 2019?
Davos is an amazing environment for connecting with people, sparking creativity, engaging clients, and exchanging ideas. Being able to immerse myself among fellow leaders, exchange perspectives on everything from industry to society and enjoy the serendipity of conversations that emerge among a wide range of unexpected individuals was too good to pass up. I did a lot of speaking but I got much more from listening. I was grateful to have a base of friends from which to shape my experience and left with many more. There is no question that my experience at Davos made me a better leader, a more interesting individual, and offered new opportunities to create value for Google and other organizations I am involved with. A win all around!
Defining leadership moment at Davos:
Having the opportunity to interview Michael Roth, CEO of IPG on how they are addressing D&I in the workplace from Talent to Creative. Our discussion shaped and cemented many of my beliefs and approach, and inspired me about how things can and should be done. You’ll hear many women leaders share perspective on this; to see such demonstrated commitment from a male leader and to hear the results, the belief, and the impact – that was a big leadership moment for me to share. On a related note, I’d also have to include interviewing my longtime mentor and sponsor, Michael Wolf, now CEO of Activate, on his past experiences and future goals for developing leaders of all sorts. The common thread between both discussions was that what is required for each of us to move forward, independently and together, is simply goal clarity and accountability. Sometimes that comes from within, sometimes that comes from new metrics in your comp plan, but it’s amazing how the excuses fade away once something simply ‘has to be done’. I love that.
Personal motivation to advocate for women and girls:
Thanks to great parents, role models and teachers, I didn’t fully realize until college that it was less common for girls to participate in STEM and/or be less represented in other leadership positions. I am so grateful for the opportunities that science and technology opened up for me and eager to see others benefit in similar ways. Above and beyond career path, experience in these areas has a huge impact on confidence and the ability to navigate anything life throws at you. At Google, our future is dependent on women and girls embracing STEM. We’re a company that wants to build products for everyone, and that means that our products should be built BY everyone. Today, every organization and field is driven by technology so this is important not only for women and girls but for society. That’s why I advocate for women and girls - to help us all create, work together, and solve problems in the workplace and well beyond.
Where can people learn more about you and your key projects?
“Whatever you are, be a good one.” – Abraham Lincoln