Ralph Alvarez

Board Member at Eli Lilly

Ralph Alvarez joined Advent International Corporation, a large private global equity firm, in July 2017 as an operating partner. He was elected to the Eli Lilly and Company board of directors in 2009.

Born in Cuba, he received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Miami.

Alvarez retired as president and chief operating officer of McDonald’s Corporation in 2009. Prior to joining McDonald’s in 1994, he held leadership positions at Burger King Corporation and Wendy’s International, Inc. He held a variety of leadership roles throughout his career, including chief operations officer and president of the central division, both with McDonald’s USA. Before joining the U.S. business, Alvarez was president of McDonald’s Mexico. From July 2004 until January 2005, he was president of McDonald’s USA, where he led a team that aligned employees, owner/operators and suppliers behind the company’s “Plan to Win” strategy – the catalyst for the turnaround of its U.S. business. Alvarez served as president of McDonald’s North America from January 2005 until August 2006. In this role, he was responsible for all McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S. and Canada. Alvarez became president and chief operating officer in August 2006. He set the global strategy and directed operations for 32,000 McDonald’s restaurants in 118 countries.

Alvarez is an active advocate for education. He serves on the President’s Council and the School of Business Administration Board of Overseers for the University of Miami. Alvarez is also a member of the boards of directors of Lowe’s Companies, Inc. and Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. He also previously served on the boards of McDonald’s Corporation, Realogy Holdings Corp., KeyCorp, and Skylark Co., Ltd.


  • Board Member

    Current role