Tamla Oates-Forney

Tamla Oates-Forney

CEO of Linkage, a SHRM Company

Tamla Oates-Forney is an innovative thought leader and speaker, women’s advocate, wellness champion, philanthropist and investor. She serves as CEO of Linkage, a SHRM company, a global leadership development firm committed to advancing women and accelerating inclusion in leaders and organizations.

Tamla previously served as EVP, Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) for USAA, where as a member of the Executive Council she led USAA’s team of more than 500 HR professionals spanning talent development, talent acquisition, pay and benefits, culture and employee services for 37,000 teammates.

Prior to joining USAA, Tamla served as Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer at WM (previously Waste Management). She spent the majority of her career (20 years) at General Electric, where she held multiple leadership roles, including HR Leader for GE Africa, Chief Diversity Officer for GE Appliances and Lighting, and Vice President of HR for GE Energy Connections.

Tamla is also an independent director and member of the Human Capital and Compensation committee for Summit Materials. She serves as a member of the Board of Advisors for her alma mater, UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, and is a sought-after speaker, advisor and thought leader for several HR-related technology startups.

She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in business administration. A renowned expert in her field, she has received multiple honors, including being featured in The New York Times, Fast Company, The Network Journal’s 25 Influential Black Women in Business and Savoy’s 2020 Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America. She is also a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), a network of black CEOs and business leaders who support the development of diverse talent and the promotion of social justice.

Tamla enjoys spending time with her husband, Warren, and their two children, Annia (25) and Camden (15). She also enjoys traveling to Africa, discovering new vegan restaurants, working out, and watching interior design shows on HGTV. She is a member of the 1% club having completed a marathon in 2018.