Diana L. Nelson, Chair

Diana Nelson Bio Image

Diana L. Nelson is Chair of Carlson, a global hospitality and travel company. She is the third person to serve in this capacity in the company’s 80-year history.

Nelson has extensive board governance and leadership experience through her work with multiple for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. In addition to her role on the Carlson board, she serves on the board of governors of Carlson Holdings, Inc., and the board of directors for the Carlson Family Foundation. She also serves on the advisory board of Prime Group, a San Francisco-based real estate equity, debt, investment and operating platform.

Nelson is former Vice Chair of the Harvard University Board of Overseers and currently serves on the committee to oversee the Harvard Graduate School of Education. An advocate for education equity and providing opportunity for all children, Nelson sits on the board of Common Sense Media and has worked to expand Teach for America and the KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) charter school network. Nelson is a lifelong champion of the arts and is President of the Board of Trustees of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Raised in Minnesota, Nelson graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College. In addition to her degree from Harvard, Nelson holds an MBA in marketing from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She and her husband John Atwater have five children and reside in San Francisco.