Maryam Banikarim

Founder, Managing Partner, MaryamB; Co-founder, NYCNext; Former CMO, Nextdoor

Maryam Banikarim is the founder and managing partner of MaryamB, a purpose-driven consultancy. She is also the co-founder of NYCNext, whose mission is to support the NYC artistic community, to help NYC recover, rebuild and become a more equitable place for all, and to energize others by creating spontaneous moments of joy in all five boroughs. Inspired by the efforts of NYCNext, she is currently joining forces with the Partnership for New York City to lead an effort to revitalize New York.  

As a purpose-driven CMO who led four major businesses through sweeping transformation and topline growth, Maryam captured national attention with her viral New York Times essay on taking a “pause” at the height of her highly successful career.  

Maryam is an in-demand motivational and business speaker and acknowledged thought leader on making purpose the heart of a company’s brand. She earns standing ovations for her keynotes on leadership, embracing diversity and inclusion, creating brand loyalty, building future-forward teams, and driving change, innovation, growth and results. As a seasoned builder of businesses, teams and brands, she brings both an incredible range of experience and an inspiring career and life journey to the speaking stage. 

It was Maryam’s passion for community that drew her to Nextdoor, the neighborhood network where neighbors go to connect to the neighborhoods that matter to them so they can belong. As the CMO at Nextdoor, Maryam oversaw marketing, community and global. Previously, Maryam was global chief marketing officer of Hyatt, Gannett, NBCUniversal, and Univision, where she earned a reputation as a bold leader who took on disruption and championed purpose. In each role, she innovatively applied a wide array of marketing tools to move her organization forward, creating value while inspiring employees, customers and a range of stakeholders. Maryam helped transform Hyatt into the most preferred hospitality brand, driving loyalty and community among high-end travelers with a portfolio of thirteen global brand experiences. She elevated the organization by mobilizing colleagues, launching brands and businesses, reimagining loyalty and establishing unprecedented partnerships.  

Prior to Hyatt, she was Gannett’s first-ever CMO. She is credited with repositioning the company and its brands (including USA Today), uncovering and executing its core purpose, reinvigorating employee morale, and establishing a national sales organization, all of which resulted in topline growth. In a few short years, she and the management team saw the stock price go from $13 a share to over $30.  

Maryam was also senior vice president at NBCUniversal and chief marketing officer for Univision Communications, Inc. Her unique can-do attitude was essential to successfully unifying and transforming both Univision and NBCUniversal during periods of rapid transformation. Before that, she founded a strategy firm, consulting for such clients as Deutsche Bank, Bacardi and Time-Warner.  

Maryam has thrived in a variety of organizations, from large-scale corporate to early-stage start-up. These include Turner Broadcasting, MacMillan Publishing, Young and Rubicam and CitySearch, a pioneering early internet start-up. Her unorthodox career path also included stints as an investment banker, handbag designer, production assistant and intern in the British Parliament. 

Maryam currently serves as Advisor to Brand50; Samsung Retail Advisory Board Member; Chair, Reporters without Borders; Executive Advisor, Cove Hill Partners; and Executive in Residence at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies.  

A graduate of Barnard College and Columbia Business School, Maryam has been widely recognized for her achievements. These include the New York Post’s “50 Most Powerful Women in NYC,” Fast Company’s “Top 10 Disrupters,” and Advertising Age’s “Women to Watch.” She is a recipient of the Columbia Alumni medal, the highest honor given by the Columbia Alumni Association, and an Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which celebrates the important contributions of immigrants. 

Maryam’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, Fortune, Fast Company, Ad Age, The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast. 

Known for highly creative presentations that engage, inform and entertain, Maryam is an inspiring catalyst on the speaking stage. Bringing contagious creativity, boundless knowledge and unwavering optimism about our abilities to achieve any goal, she motivates organizations seeking change and gives them the confidence and tools to take action.

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