DeRetta Cole Rhodes, PhD

Strategic partner

advisory practice leader 

Atlanta | 404-432-3978

Experience Strengths:

Leadership Development, Executive Talent Strategy, Executive Assessments, Succession Planning, Change Management and Diversity & Inclusion.

Career Experiences:

Atlanta Braves - Senior Vice President Human Resources

YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta - EVP/Chief Human Resources Officer  

First Data Corporation - VP Human Resources, Financial Services

Turner Broadcasting - VP, Human Resources and HR Director

EY (Ernst & Young LLP) – Diversity & Inclusion Director

ADP and YUM! Brands - Human Resource Director & Diversity Director


The University of Georgia: PhD - Adult Education 

Clark Atlanta University:  MBA - Marketing/Organizational Behavior 

The University of Georgia: BS - Hotel/Restaurant Managment

Licenses & Certifications

DISC Model of Human Behavior Consultant

360 Degree Coach - Center for Creative Leadership 

HOGAN - Hogan Assessment Systems

DeRetta Cole Rhodes, Ph.D., is the SVP/Head of HR for the Atlanta Braves which she supports the Major League, Minor League, Battery property development in all areas of People Capital initiatives.


Previously, DeRetta was the EVP/chief human resources officer of YMCA of Metro, the VP, Human Resources, at First Data, where she provided consultation on human capital and organizational development strategies for over 5,000 First Data colleagues within Financial Services and Consumer and Network Solutions, the Vice president of human resources for Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc., supporting Global Technology Operations. Before joining Turner, DeRetta held leadership roles with Ernst & Young, ADP,, and YUM Brand.


Currently she is a Board of Director member and Membership Engagment Chair of Human Resource Leaderhsip Forum (HRLF), member of Human Resource People & Strategy (HRPS), Board of Director member of 21stLeadership, Argyle Advisory Board, Hawks Atlanta Diversity and Inclusion member, and past president of the Alumni Board of Family and Consumer Sciences at UGA.


Published works include:

Cole, D. (2010). Courage under Fire: How Black Women have learned to survive in Corporate America (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Georgia, Athens, GA.


Cole, D. (October 2012). The Storm is Still Brewing; Leadership Challenges for Women Leaders and their Corporations: A Call for Change in Leadership. Presented at the conference of International Leadership Association (ILA), Denver, CO.


Cole. D, Munley, A, Santana, L. (October 2013). Realities, Challenges and Leadership Resilience for the Female Executive: Practices Revealed from across the Globe. Presented at the conference of International Leadership Association (ILA), Montreal, Canada.


DeRetta has been a speaker and served as a panelist at several events such as; Argyle (Atlanta, Dallas), Marcus Evans, HR Strategy & Innovation Summit, Connect HR Leadership and TedXUGA (March 22, 2018); to name a few.


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