Global Conference 2016

Speaker's Biography

Russell Simmons

Entrepreneur, Author, Activist and Philanthropist

Russell Simmons is an entrepreneur, author, activist and philanthropist. His mission is to give a voice to extraordinary talent and empower underserved communities as they in turn shape mainstream culture. After producing or managing recording artists, Simmons co-founded Def Jam Recordings. With Simmons as chairman, Def Jam signed acts including Jay Z and Kanye West. Simmons produced the HBO series "Def Comedy Jam" and "Def Poetry Jam," which won a Peabody Award; a Broadway version won a Tony. Simmons' movies include "The Nutty Professor," and his latest book is "The Happy Vegan." He has launched diverse businesses, such as pop culture website Global Grind, UniRush Financial Services, Simmons Jewelry and Run Athletics. His most recent venture is media company and entertainment hub All Def Digital. In 2011, Simmons won the GLAAD Excellence in Media Award and was named PETA Man of the Year. His charitable endeavors include the Diamond Empowerment Fund, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation and the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.


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