James La Vela, is a member of the Global Marketing and Communications team at BlackRock. In that role, he is helping to drive and support a wide range of initiatives across the Marketing and Communications organization, including the Firm’s ongoing efforts to build the BlackRock brand. Prior to joining BlackRock full-time in 2011, Mr. La Vela held internships with BlackRock’s U.S. Retail Marketing team and with the U.S. Embassy in Brussels, Belgium. Mr. La Vela earned a BSBA degree, with Highest Distinction and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, and a BA degree in Contemporary European Studies from UNC’s College of Arts & Sciences. At UNC, Mr. La Vela was a Kenan Institute Leadership Fellow and worked closely with Alumni Affairs as a member of BSBA Student Government. He was awarded the 2011 Hampton Shuping Prize for academic achievement, integrity, and leadership by UNC Kenan-Flagler and graduated as a Public Service Scholar. Mr. La Vela currently lives and works in New York City. He is a graduate of Chatham High School in Chatham, New Jersey and attended elementary school at the International School of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.