BBDO Hires Jason Rosario as Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

He’s the founder of The Lives of Men, a social impact agency

Headshot of Jason Rosario
Jason Rosario is BBDO's first DEI hire in the C-suite. BBDO
Headshot of Minda Smiley

Jason Rosario is joining BBDO Worldwide as its first chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. 

Rosario, who’s based in New York and will report to BBDO’s president and CEO Andrew Robertson, begins the new role on Sept. 8.

His appointment comes less than a month after Omnicom, which owns BBDO, outlined a plan to achieve “systemic equity” at the holding company. Part of the plan involves hiring a diversity director for each of Omnicom’s networks.

Rosario’s role is a new one at the global agency network, which employs people in 289 offices throughout 81 countries. However, the agency has had roles dedicated to diversity in the past, although none have been in the C-suite. For instance, Karla Gray Mayers previously served as BBDO’s executive vice president and director of diversity and supplier diversity in New York, a role she left last year. 

Rosario will partner with senior leadership to “impact agency diversity policy and plans” in his position, according to BBDO.

“Where D&I is usually viewed as purely an HR function, what excited me the most about this role was the opportunity to partner at the enterprise level to embed inclusive practices into every part of the business,” Rosario said. “We are elevating this work and putting it on par with other aspects of the business that we consider important.”

Prior to joining BBDO, Rosario served as executive producer and host of Dear Men, a Yahoo web series that explored the “evolution of manhood.” He also served as manager of global diversity and inclusion at Verizon Media, which owns Yahoo. 

In 2017, he founded The Lives of Men, which describes itself as a “social impact creative agency and diversity accelerator” that focuses on redefining modern masculinity. According to Rosario’s LinkedIn, his work involves partnering with men’s wellness brands to develop campaigns that increases awareness and engagement around mental health. 

“I come to this work from a nontraditional perspective and that lens allows me to challenge the status quo,” he said. “As an example, my work to unpack male allyship explores the broader implications of privilege and how men, and other dominant groups, can use that privilege to advocate for marginalized groups.”

Earlier this year, BBDO went through a round of layoffs in response to the economic impact of Covid-19. As part of the cuts, the agency’s New York chief creative officer Greg Hahn and director of integrated production David Rolfe were let go. 

@Minda_Smiley Minda Smiley is an agencies reporter at Adweek.