Tonya Cornileus, PhD

Work Experience:


Tonya Cornileus is the vice president, talent management, learning & organizational development at ESPN, where she serves as an integral member of the senior human resources leadership team. Cornileus is responsible for the global learning, talent management and organizational development strategies for ESPN employees around the world.  She also serves as an advisor to senior management at ESPN on all matters pertaining to her field.


Prior to joining ESPN, Cornileus served as director, executive development & organizational effectiveness for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. from 2004 to 2009 and vice president, training & organizational development for Aegis Communications Group, Inc. from 1998 to 2004. She began her career as an educator in various school systems from 1985 to 1996.




Cornileus earned her Ph.D. in Adult Education/HR & Organizational Development from the University of Georgia in 2010. In 2004, she earned her M.Ed. in Human Resources and Organizational Development from the University of Georgia. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications from the University of Florida in 1985.


Professional and Civic Affiliations and Honors:


Cornileus is involved with several professional and civic organizations and speaks regularly at professional conferences on topics pertaining to her field. She serves on the Linkage, Inc., Women in Leadership Institute Advisory Board, and on the boards for Goodwin College, Connecticut; the University of Florida Foundation; and the University of Georgia College of Education Board of Visitors. Dr. Cornileus has been recognized as one of the CableFax’s Most Influential Minorities in Cable, 2012 – 2017 and one of the National Diversity Council’s 2012 Most Powerful and Influential Women Leaders in Connecticut. She was also honored with the University of Georgia College of Education Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Achievement in 2014, was the keynote speaker at the University’s Alumni Association 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon in 2015, and the graduate school commencement speaker in 2016. Dr. Cornileus was profiled in the March 2013 edition of CLO Magazine published by Human Capital Media.


In addition, Dr. Cornileus mentors high school students through the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education’s New Beginnings program and actively supports the Greater Hartford Urban League, where she served on the board for several years. Dr. Cornileus is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.


Dr. Cornileus currently resides in West Hartford, Connecticut. She loves to blog, spend time at the beach and watch ESPN.