Former Corporate CEO Ann Marie Brown Fudge was born on April 23, 1951, in Washington, DC., to Malcolm R. Brown, an administrator at the US Postal Service, and Bettye Lewis Brown, a manager at the National Security Agency (NSA).
On February 27, 1971, Ann married Richard Fudge, Sr., an educational and training consultant. They parented two sons, Richard Fudge, II, and Kevin Fudge. Two years later, in 1972, she received the Bachelor of Arts degree in retail management from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts and enrolled in Harvard University Business School where she earned the Master of Business Administration degree in 1977.
From 1973 to 1975, Fudge was the workforce specialist with the General Electric Company. Afterward, she worked with General Mills Corporation in Minneapolis, Minnesota, from 1977 to 1986 in several leadership positions including marketing assistant, assistant product manager, product manager, and marketing director. She then joined Kraft General Foods in White Plains, New York where she was associate director of strategic planning from 1986 to 1989. She then became vice president for marketing and development in the Dinners and Enhancers division at Kraft in 1989. Fudge received the Black Achievers award from the Harlem YMCA during this period.
In 1994, Fudge was named by Kraft Foods president of the Maxwell House Coffee division. With that promotion she became the first African American woman to head a corporate division. In 1998, Fudge was named by Fortune magazine as 30th on the 50 Most Influential Women in American Business list while she was an executive vice president at Kraft. Also, Adelphi University, Howard University, Marymount College, and Simmons College all awarded honorary Doctor of Humane Letters to Fudge.
From 2003 to 2005, Fudge was the chairman and CEO of Young and Rubicam Advertising in New York City. She became a member of the Board of Trustees at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as a Trustee with the Rockefeller Foundation in 2006.
In 2008 she was a member of the Barack Obama presidential campaign’s finance committee and in 2010, Fudge was named by President Obama to the 18-member National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.
In September 2010, Fudge was listed as one of several possible candidates to replace Larry Summers as director of the National Economic Council. She did not get the post and in September 2011, Fudge joined the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Also, during that year, Fudge served on the boards of directors of General Electric, Novartis, and Unilever. She also served as chair of the U.S. Programs Advisory Board of The Gates Foundation and as vice-chair of the Harvard Board of Overseers (Trustees). In 2019, Fudge was installed into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Ann Marie Brown Fudge also serves on the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture in the District of Columbia.