Icons, RockStars, & Innovators: Cavel Khan

What makes you an Icon?

Your authentic and influential leadership style that has contributed to your trailblazing career success. You have broken barriers, overcome adversity, and as a result, are a role model to many.

“It’s important to show others who look like me that they can do it too”

When reflecting on his years in the advertising industry, Cavel Khan, SVP, North America Client Partnerships, at VICE Media Group- the world’s largest independent youth media company- knows how important a role great leadership has played in his accomplishments.

“My success in the industry is only because other Ad Club of New York Icons opened the doors and allowed me to be able to walk through them” says Cavel.

“So it’s my job to be able to continue to open doors for others.”

It’s a commitment he takes seriously. At his current role at VICE Media Group, Cavel was at the forefront of a bold and important brand safety initiative taken by the company; not to accept words on keyword blocklists that indicate any bias or discrimination. 

Cavel is transforming and restructuring the Client Partnerships team across North America to align VICE’s content, media, experiential, and production solutions for marketers to form trusted connections with VICE’s young and diverse audience.  

He spent a significant portion of his career building and shaping tech companies’ sales and marketing offerings. Starting out at Microsoft, Cavel helped to build the sales and service teams for Bing, before moving into Microsoft’s display advertising business. After Microsoft, Cavel joined Twitter where he held numerous roles including senior manager for Client Partnerships, developing their strategic approach to meet the needs of CPG marketers. 

Often being the only person of color in the room, Cavel has used this as motivation to lead and break barriers. He’s prioritized recruiting diverse talent into the companies he’s worked for; at Microsoft, he led initiatives to talk about inclusion and how to make the workplace better for people of color. At Twitter, Cavel co-led the Blackbirds Employee Resource Group which helped the social media giant recruit and retain diverse candidates. 

“As Teddy Roosevelt said ‘People don’t care how much you know until they know how much  you care’” explains Cavel. 

Cavel’s dedication to leadership goes beyond the workplace. He is the former co-chair of the AdColor advisory board, championing the work of diverse people in the advertising industry. He is a former member of the IAB Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Advisory Board and also a member of the Board of Trustees for Community Roots Charter school, a Brooklyn- based charter school focused on having more inclusive and diverse classrooms. In addition, he speaks at high schools and middle schools, educating and driving awareness about advertising to students at an early age. Cavel was also selected to participate in the Cannes Diversity Collective’s #CreativityinColor initiative, highlighting people of color and their journeys in the industry.

His guiding star? Cavel gives all the credit to his family. His parents taught him the importance of hard work and sacrifice while his wife and son are his daily inspiration and reason to push on and continue to do what he does. 

Follow Cavel on Meta, Twitter, and Instagram; and find him on LinkedIn!

The ACNY Foundation is proud to recognize outstanding industry professionals, during our 3rd Annual Black History Month recognition series titled, “Icons, Rock Stars & Innovators”.

It is our way of shining the spotlight on exemplary talent, integral to the evolution and growth of the advertising industry. Each day during Black History Month we profile a selected “Icon, Rock Star & Innovator” across all our digital platforms. In addition, our partnership The Gradient & Mixed Company podcast, allows for our programming to further extend throughout the industry; introducing and promoting these luminaries to new audiences. Follow the series on InstagramMetaTwitter, and LinkedIn!

Meet our illustrious lineup of “Icons, Rockstars, & Innovators” on February 26, 2020. RSVP here: https://bit.ly/31q13Pc

Take a peek at last year’s event.

P.S. Check out our other content from previous years

2019 – Online Exhibition

2019 – Icons, RockStars, & Innovators

2018 – Icons, RockStars, & Innovators