Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, Wal-Mart Executive, Appointed to the Board of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund

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Washington, DC (May 27, 2013) – Claire Babineaux-Fontenot of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), TMCF Chairman Jim Clifton announced.

Babineaux-Fontenot is Senior Vice President and Chief Tax Officer for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. located in Bentonville, AR. Since the first store opened in 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas, Wal-Mart been dedicated to making a difference in the lives of our customers. Their business is the result of Sam Walton's visionary leadership, along with generations of associates focused on helping customers and communities save money and live better.

Babineaux-Fontenot, ranked number 6 on the Uptown Professional Top 100 Executives list, began her Wal-Mart service as Vice President of Audits & Tax Policy in August of 2004. In January of 2007, she was promoted to Chief Tax Officer, where she is responsible for the company’s global tax function with oversight in 27 countries, including the recent additions of Sub-Saharan and South Africa. In February 2012, her duties were increased to include financial responsibilities for the company’s Global Sourcing organization which includes 32 worldwide locations in 22 countries.

“TMCF is quickly reaching a critical stage in our history,” said Clifton. “Claire’s background and talent will allow us to fully leverage new opportunities to further our mission and work.”

The Opelousas native, Babineaux-Fontenot is a University of Louisiana at Lafayette graduate. She earned a law degree from Southern University Law Center, “SULC” in Baton Rouge, LA (inducted into SULC Hall of Fame in 2012). She received an LLM in taxation from Southern Methodist University Law School in Dallas, TX.

Babineaux-Fontenot’s professional career began as a tax attorney for the Louisiana Department of Revenue, culminating in a gubernatorial appointment as Assistant Secretary of the Office of Legal Affairs in which capacity she was responsible for all tax litigation at the state level; she served as an administrative law judge for the Louisiana Department of Civil Service; Dispute Resolution Practice Group Leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers where she was responsible for state tax controversies for the Southwest Region of the United States; Partner at the law firm of Adams & Reese, where she was leader of the firm’s Tax Practice and Partner-in-Charge of the Baton Rouge office.

“I am the daughter of brilliant and hardworking parents who did not have the opportunity to graduate high school. A natural byproduct of knowing my parents has been that I’ve always known that being smart and working hard are only two legs of the three-legged stool that compels success. The third is opportunity. Throughout my life, many people have made important "bets" on me,” said Babineaux-Fontenot. “I am thrilled that as a member of the TMCF Board, a unique vehicle through which I can pay forward to others critical opportunities akin to those that I have been so graciously afforded.”

Claire Babineaux-Fontenot’s commitment to diversity has been celebrated throughout her career and includes the recent distinctions of: Identified as one of the “Women Worth Watching,” by Diversity Journal, A Diversity Champion by Diversity Edge Magazine, and winner of the coveted Dave Jackson Trailblazer Award.

“Claire is a proud alumnus of an HBCU,” said TMCF President & CEO Johnny C. Taylor. “What a significant statement to our students -- you can attend one of our member-schools and essentially become the Chief Tax Officer of one of the largest corporations in the world!”

About the Thurgood Marshall College Fund
Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is named for the U.S. Supreme Court's first African-American Justice. Established in 1987, TMCF supports and represents nearly 300,000 students attending its 47 member-schools that include public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), medical schools and law schools. TMCF helps students with a clear intention and the motivation to succeed and acquire a high-quality college education at an affordable cost. TMCF also efficiently connects high performing, world-ready students with top tier employment opportunities —access that students or employers might not have on their own. Through its scholarships and programs, TMCF plays a key role in preparing the leaders of tomorrow.

TMCF is a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt, charitable organization and for more information about TMCF and its initiatives, visit www.ThurgoodMarshallCollegeFund.org.