The Board conducts its work through committees including, but not limited to: Annual Conference, Programs, Scholarships, and Sponsorships/Fundraising.

Chairwoman

Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs ViacomCBS

Khadijah Sharif-Drinkard serves as Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, ViacomCBS, where she oversees deal making for unscripted programming, music programming, tent poles, award shows, specials, and news across BET Networks.  She is a strong business partner with broad expertise in media and entertainment and leads a bi-coastal team that structures and negotiates a wide variety of complex transactions in connection with the development, production, acquisition and distribution of content across platforms. Her experience as a skilled business executive and deal maker were paramount in her closing deals for a number of high-profile projects, including, The New Edition mini-series (the highest rated show ever on BET), The Bobby Brown Story and in bringing the Black Girls Rock! franchise to BET.  Prior to working at BET Networks, Khadijah served as Vice President, Senior Counsel at Nickelodeon where she helped to launch such hits as Dora the Explorer, Diego and The Backyardigans. 

Khadijah is a graduate of Class XXII of the Women in Cable Telecommunications’ (WICT) Betsy Magness Leadership Institute, a premier leadership program for women in the media industry.  She is also a 2012 graduate of the inaugural class of BET’s THR!VE Executive Development Program.  Khadijah is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and uses her spare time to work in the fields of philanthropy and human development.  She has traveled and served on delegations to South Africa, Rome, Russia, China and the United Kingdom, and has worked with the United Nations to help aspiring business women from Iraq. 

 

In addition to her professional responsibilities, Khadijah holds a host of leadership positions.  She serves as Co-Chair of the ViacomCBS Law Department’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors for the Black Entertainment & Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA), and as President of the Board for Columbia College Women.  She created a Viacom company-wide mentoring program entitled Get Connected (and worked in partnership with Get Schooled in association with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) where Viacom employees served as mentors to public school students in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.   Khadijah helped to launch Viacom’s Employee Resource Group (ERG) for women entitled HERE: Women @ Viacom where she served as Co-Chair.  In addition, she served as Board Chair for Horizons Newark, a program aimed at closing the achievement and the opportunity gap for inner-city children. 

 

In 2019, Khadijah received the Ruth Whitehead Whaley Award from Fordham Law School’s Black Law Students Association (BLSA) for being an outstanding alumna and the New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association (NJMLA) Medal of Honor for her exemplary leadership as a Muslim American attorney.   In 2018, she was awarded the inaugural Corporate Counsel of the Year Award from the Muslim Bar Association of New York (MuBANY). Khadijah is a recipient of the National Association of Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) Luminary Award for her business acumen and her commitment to diversity and inclusion and she also received a NAACP Image Award for her work on the children’s animated program “Kasha and the Zulu King”. 

 

Khadijah frequently serves as a presenter for industry conferences and has been featured on numerous television programs and in a variety of publications, including The New York Times and on the cover of Newsweek magazine.  She gained prominence as a high school student and victorious lead plaintiff in Sharif vs. New York State Department of Education where she challenged the SAT scholarship distribution procedures as discriminatory against women.  She contributed to a book entitled Living Islam Out Loud:  American Muslim Women Speak (Beacon Press), where she writes about her journey as an activist and a Muslim American.  Khadijah earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Columbia University and her Juris Doctor from Fordham University School of Law.  Khadijah lives with her husband and two daughters in New Jersey.

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