Global Coca-Cola Foundation Chairman Ingrid Saunders Jones was born on December 27, 1945 in Detroit, Michigan to Georgia Ann Lyles Saunders and Homer Leon Saunders. She attended Therkell Elementary School and graduated from Northwestern High School in 1964. Jones studied at Michigan State University and graduated with her B.S. degree in education in 1969. She went on to earn her M.A. degree in education from Eastern Michigan University in 1973. Jones completed her student teaching at Therkell Elementary in her old neighborhood and taught in the Detroit Public Schools until 1974.
Moving to Atlanta, Georgia in 1974, Jones served as executive director of the Child Care Coordinating Council from 1974 to 1977. She was a special assistant to the Atlanta City Council from 1977 to 1978, and from 1978 to 1979, Jones served as a legislative analyst. She was named executive assistant to Atlanta’s first African American mayor, Maynard Jackson in 1979 and served until 1982. Joining The Coca-Cola Company in 1982, Jones was appointed vice president of Urban and Governmental Affairs in 1987. Since 1991, Jones has served as chair of the Global Coca-Cola Foundation, which is committed to education and educational outreach programs. As foundation chair, Jones oversees the granting of over $200 million annually. The foundation funds programs in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
Jones serves on the boards of numerous worthy organizations including the Woodruff Art Center; the Apollo Theatre Foundation; Clark Atlanta University; the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation; Girls Incorporated; the Ohio State University’s President’s Council on Women; and the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University.
Jones was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 9, 2005.