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Understanding Consumers Have Power with Marta Tellado

Episode Summary

Marta Tellado, CEO of Consumer Reports shares her story of coming to the US from Cuba, adapting to American culture, and now leading Consumer Reports so we (consumers) can have a fair and just marketplace.

Episode Notes

Listeners, we're back this week with Marta Tellado.

Marta L. Tellado is president and CEO of Consumer Reports (CR), an independent nonprofit that works side-by-side with consumers to create a fair and just marketplace. She is a mission-driven leader with a passion for innovation, public service, philanthropy, and helping organizations maximize their ability to improve the world.

Since joining CR in 2014, Tellado has transformed one of America’s most trusted brands and iconic social enterprises, uniting its rigorous research, consumer insights, award-winning journalism, and advocacy expertise to drive social impact. With a talent for innovation and a passion for public service, Tellado has guided CR to tackle the next frontier of consumer protections: digital rights. That focus has included everything from helping consumers prevent cyber breaches to fighting for people’s control of their own data.

Under her leadership, CR has also modernized to improve consumer products and services with renewed ways of testing connected products for privacy and security by standing up the CR Digital Lab, as well as launching CR’s Data Intelligence effort bringing consumer insights to manufacturers and regulators to influence product design and safety upstream. In recent years, CR has consistently been recognized with leading industry awards for its journalism, editorial design, and video content, such as the Society of Professional Journalism Award, numerous Webby Awards (including the Webby People’s Voice Award for best non-profit website), and an Emmy nomination for its first major network educational television program on NBC and Telemundo. In 2018, Folio Magazine named Marta one of the year’s ‘Top Women in Media,’ and for three consecutive years, from 2020-22, City and State named her one of the Top 100 most influential Latinos.

Marta is the author of “Buyer Aware: Harnessing Our Consumer Power for a Safe, Fair, and Transparent Marketplace,” published in 2022 by Public Affairs. It chronicles the scale of challenges consumers face today, especially in the digital marketplace, and what we must do to ensure consumer rights in the modern economy to strengthen democracy and promote economic equity.

Marta came to CR following a rich career in public service, philanthropy, and mission-driven nonprofit management. At the Ford Foundation, she was vice president for global communications and an officer of the board. She led strategic communications and advocacy in the U.S. and across 14 regional offices around the world focusing on a range of issues including economic fairness, free and fair access to an open internet, and civil rights. Prior to that she worked to stand-up a new nonprofit, the Partnership for Public Service, serving as vice president. There she launched the “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government” and the “Service to America” awards. She has worked in various D.C. think tanks: the Center for National Policy and the Aspen Institute where she led the first bipartisan domestic policy forum. She spent many years in public service as a senior advisor to US Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey—the state where she was raised following her family’s journey from her birthplace of Havana, Cuba.

Marta is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University and holds a Ph.D. in political science from Yale University, where she serves on the board of trustees. Her board service reflects a deep commitment to good governance and she currently serves on the boards of the Yale Corporation, International Consumer Research & Testing, Consumers International, and The Washington Center. Past board service includes Fairleigh Dickinson University, HIspanics in Philanthropy, the Council on Foundations, Ballet Hispanico, and the Advertising Council Advisory Board on Public Issues.

She is based in New York City where she shares life with her husband and 13-year-old poodle rescue. They steal away to the Catskills for long walks, birding and tending to their owl boxes, with the occasional paddle board adventure.


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