Melissa Lora

Retired President, Taco Bell International

Lora is an experienced Lead Independent Director with one of America’s leading homebuilders, KB Home (NYSE: KBH). She served as Chairwoman for the Audit and Compliance Committee from 2008 – 2018 for KBH and serves as Chairwoman for the Audit and Finance Committee of Conagra Brands (NYSE: CAG) a premier branded food company she joined in 2019. In addition, Lora serves on the Board of Directors of MGIC Investment Corp (NYSE: MTG), a private mortgage insurer. She serves on the Audit Committees and Management Development and Compensation Committees at KBH and MGIC.

Lora’s global c-suite leadership in financial and operating roles at Yum Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) demonstrated her thoughtful, strategic, results oriented approach to growth in a complex, regulated, culturally diverse consumer-oriented industry.

During Lora’s 31-year career building an iconic restaurant brand Taco Bell Corp. added 5,000 restaurants, $8 billion in sales, and became America’s #1 favorite Mexican restaurant (The Harris Poll – 2018).

Lora retired as President of Taco Bell’s International business having led the strategy creation, built the structure and fueled the culture to create $1 billion of system sales by 2023.

As Chief Financial and Development Officer for over a dozen years, Taco Bell doubled operating profit, delivered industry leading margins and created irresistible capital returns.

She successfully navigated significant industry downturns and business crises as management, and as a board director, returning entities to strong financial performance and brand success.

Her passion rests in enriching the next generation of leaders, including roles as an advisor to the USC Marshall School Corporate Advisory Board and, as Trustee and Finance Committee Chair at ArtCenter College of Design.

She earned her MBA from the University of Southern California in 1986. Lora and her husband Michael, reside in Orange County, California with their two Golden Retrievers.

Press Release

ArtCenter Becomes New Home to Punk and New Wave Music Photography Collection

$1 million gift will fund scholarships and provide greater access to collections by expanding Library’s Archives and Special Collections


Jules Bates “Artrouble” Center

A research space to explore the history of ArtCenter, rare art and design books, the Los Angeles punk scene in the late 1970s, and other rich archival and primary source materials.