Zillow has named Claire Cormier Thielke, an executive at the global real estate development firm Hines, to its board of directors.
Thielke (LinkedIn profile), who started at Hines as an extern in 2007, is now the company’s Hong Kong-based managing director of Asia Pacific operations.
“Claire brings an incredible background in operations, innovation and real estate financing that will be extremely valuable to the board as we continue to oversee transformational growth at Zillow,” Zillow executive chairman Lloyd Frink wrote in a statement.
Thielke becomes Zillow’s first Black board member, and thus fulfills a public pledge by the company to diversify its board membership, which until now lacked persons of color.
Zillow, the No. 1 real estate vertical in the U.S., joined several other companies earlier this year in signing The Board Challenge, an agreement to add a Black board director within a year’s time.
Thielke has other board memberships at Legacy Community Health and Memorial City Bank.
She graduated with honors from Stanford University’s Urban Studies Program, and went on to get a masters in civil engineering and a higher level ENG degree in the same discipline. She maintains her Stanford connection as an adjunct faculty member in urban studies.
Prior to her real estate career, Thielke ran track for Stanford and trained for the Olympics before a cancer scare scuttled plans.