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Carly Fiorina

Founder & Chairman, Unlocking Potential; 2016 Presidential Candidate; Former Chairman and CEO, Hewlett-Packard (1999-2005); First Woman to Lead a Fortune 20 Company; Featured Contributor, CNBC; Chair, Good360

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Carly Fiorina is a true leader and a seasoned problem‐solver. She is a passionate, articulate advocate for innovation, and effective leadership. Her mission is to inspire, equip and connect individuals and teams to seize opportunities, face challenges, and accelerate impact in their communities. She knows that everyone has more potential than they realize, that those closest to the problem understand the problem best, and that leading to unlock the potential in others and actually solve problems can result in both progress and joy.

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Leadership is not about title, position or power

Rising to the Challenge

Perspectives on Leadership: Why It Matters More Than Ev ...

Speaker Resources

Carly Fiorina is a true leader and a seasoned problem‐solver. She is a passionate, articulate advocate for entrepreneurship, innovation, and effective leadership. Her mission is to inspire, equip and connect individuals and teams to seize opportunities, face challenges, and accelerate impact in their communities. She knows that everyone has more potential than they realize, that those closest to the problem understand the problem best, and that leading to unlock the potential in others and actually solve problems can result in both progress and joy.

Carly shares her leadership experience and approach to problem-solving in a variety of ways. In addition to her regular speeches to students, businesses and non-profits, she is the founder and Chairman of Unlocking Potential, a non-profit organization that invests in human potential by supporting local leaders who are solving problems in their communities; equipping them with the behaviors, characteristics, disciplines and tools to increase their leadership and problem-solving capacity. She is also the host of By Example, an upcoming podcast (currently in production) that will feature leaders from various sectors and communities. On By Example, Carly will use the experiences, stories and lessons from innovators and problem-solvers to teach practical, real-world solutions to challenges many listeners face.

Carly’s experience spans from secretary to CEO, from public to private, and from for-profit to non-profit. She started out as a secretary for a 9-person real-estate business and eventually became the first woman ever to lead a Fortune 50 company. When Carly was recruited to lead HP in 1999, the industry was facing the worst technology recession in 25 years. Under Carly’s leadership, revenue grew, innovation tripled, growth quadrupled, and HP became the 11th largest company in the U.S.

During her tenure at HP, the company received numerous civic recognitions, including being named one of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens by Business Ethics Magazine, one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers by Working Mother Magazine, receiving a 100% rating by The Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, and being named one of the World’s Most Respected Companies by The Financial Times and PricewaterhouseCooper.

After leaving HP, Carly focused her efforts on giving back. Prior to Unlocking Potential, she served as the Chairman of Good360, the world’s largest product philanthropy organization, and as Chairman of Opportunity International, a Christian-based organization that lifts millions out of poverty around the globe through micro-finance. She also founded the One Woman Initiative in partnership with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, to engage and empower women in Pakistan, Egypt, India and the Philippines through increased access to economic opportunity.

Carly was appointed by President Bush and CIA Director Michael Hayden to serve as the Chairman of the External Advisory Board of the CIA after 9/11. In this capacity, she held the highest clearances available to a civilian, and focused her efforts on CIA recruitment policies, information technology capabilities and organizational integration.

In 2015, Carly launched a campaign for President. Running as a political outsider, Carly spoke about empowering and engaging citizens to take back government from a political ruling class that has failed to deliver results. There, many more Americans came to know her as a clear-eyed, direct leader capable of actually solving problems.

Carly is also a best-selling author. Her titles include Tough Choices and Rising to the Challenge. Her third book, Find Your Way: Unleash Your Power and Highest Potential, comes out in April.

She and her husband, Frank, have been happily married for 33 years. They reside in northern Virginia near their daughter, son-in-law and two granddaughters.

Solving problems, effectively empowering employees, and driving results are not easy tasks, but they are required of leaders. As CEO of the world’s first $100 billion information technology company, Carly Fiorina is all too familiar with the complex, difficult path of leadership – and the far-reaching strategic decisions that must be made with finesses and fortitude. She has grappled with many of these same tensions and faced these same challenges.


A passionate leader who made tough choices to grow her organizations, Carly delivers a powerful, pragmatic presentation on how leaders can be clear-eyed about their current state, optimistic about their future, and deliberate about getting the results they want. Carly began her business career as a secretary and ultimately became the first woman to lead a FORTUNE 50 company, as the CEO of Hewlett-Packard. She made this journey by solving the problems in front of her and unlocking the potential of those around her. She passionately believes that leaders are made, not born, and that leadership potential exists at every level of every organization. “Anyone can lead, at any time, from anywhere. Leadership is not about title, position, or power. It is about making a positive difference.”


As the CEO of HP, Carly Fiorina tackled issues of strategic focus, product innovation, and mergers and integration – all during the dot.com boom and bust and the worst technology recession in 25 years. She recognized that, if the company was going to survive, she had to transform the complacent culture at HP into a dynamic, innovative environment that would allow the company to become the industry leader. This successful transformation was driven by Carly’s solid management philosophy, commitment to building a diverse team, and a set of proven tools and practices.


From this experience, Carly shares her personal account of what it takes to create a high-performance culture. She openly discusses the difficult path of major acquisition, integration, and transformational change. As many organizations adjust to the new realities in the aftermath of the financial crisis, navigating uncertainty, managing change, and building a high-performance culture are critical to empowering organizations and driving results.


Carly has spent her life building leaders and problem-solvers in nearly every context, including for-profits, non-profits, faith-based-communities, and academia. As the CEO of Hewlett Packard, the chair of two internationally-recognized non-profits, and a trusted advisor of executives around the world, she has inspired and empowered diverse groups for decades. She recognizes that leadership is not about how impressive your title is or how big your office is – but how you effectively solve problems and unlock the potential of those around you.


Today’s workforce is increasingly interested in accessing regular growth and development through their professional communities, and companies in every industry are continuing to explore how to meet those demands. Carly delivers a powerful presentation that inspires, empowers, and connects employees at every level. She introduces her proven leadership philosophy, which is based on a set of human behaviors and characteristics of leadership (traits that everyone can develop and deploy), as well as a set of practical, accessible tools that enable effective problem-solving.


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    President Trump has dug his heels in on spending, but it is unclear what he will accept

    (CNBC) – Former Hewlett Packard CEO and presidential candidate Carly Fiorina discusses President Trump’s recent policy positions on trade, the Fed, and immigration policy.

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    Quotas are a terrible way to promote board diversity. Companies should do this instead

    (CNN Business) – Viewed through the prism of our own experience as corporate directors, we think it’s high time for boards to become more diverse. Not because a law requires it, but because a variety of backgrounds, experiences and skill sets leads to stronger, more rigorous, and significantly more effective corporate governance.

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    Carly Fiorina: Real leadership is about solving problems

    (Fox News) – Former 2016 presidential candidate speaks out on President Trump’s agenda, the midterm elections and current political climate on ‘America’s Newsroom.

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    Carly Fiorina: Stop waiting on Washington to fix our problems

    (Washington Examiner) – I have argued in these pages that politics has become about winning, not problem-solving; that while the media may highlight problems, they may actually make some of them worse; and that while “strongmen” claim to be vastly capable all by themselves, real problem-solving requires collaboration.

  • Carly Fiorina: Between Trump and the media, ‘Who’s Zoomin’ Who?’

    (Washington Examiner) – The late, great Aretha Franklin wrote a song called “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?” She sang of two people, each of whom felt cheated on and victimized by the other, both of whom were engaging in precisely the same behavior. It is an apt analogy for the relationship between our politics and the media.

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    Carly Fiorina On D.C. Culture: “Hypocrisy Is A Bipartisan Affliction” | Kasie DC | MSNBC

    (MSNBC) – Former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina once bore the brunt of Donald Trump’s jabs during the 2016 Republican primaries. As multiple accusations of sexual misconduct resurface against the President, Fiorina discusses how partisan politics come into play.

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    It’s Time to Man Up

    (Medium) – Don’t worry. We women will keep fighting, contributing, speaking up and speaking out. The question is will you boys finally man up?

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    Carly Fiorina Talks Women and Foreign Policy at D.C. Event

    By: Tessa Berenson

    (Time) – The former CEO of Hewlett-Packard combined both Saturday afternoon at a luncheon in Washington, D.C., aimed at conservative women.

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    Carly Fiorina, A Woman of Accomplishment

    By Cal Thomas
    (Townhall) – When people speak of "the first woman president" they usually mean Hillary Clinton, who is expected to announce her candidacy soon.

    But there's another woman, a Republican, who will shortly vie for the top job. She is Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard. The polls don't register much support for Fiorina, but if people listen to what she has to say, particularly about Hillary Clinton, that could change.

    In an interview, Fiorina told me that, unlike a male candidate, she could better take on Hillary Clinton: "No matter what that man says, she will play the gender card or the war on women card. She won't be able to do that with me."

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    Carly Fiorina, and the conservative case for feminism

    (The Washington Post) – In a speech on the "state of women in America" Thursday, Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina sought to reclaim "feminism," a word she said had been co-opted by the left.

    "The left has controlled this conversation," she said in a call with the media before the event. "They have defined the term 'feminism' and 'feminist' in a certain way. And I think it's important that we reclaim that term."

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    Carly Fiorina to Keynote High Tech Entrepreneur Event

    Carly Fiorina, the chair of the Unlocking Potential Project, former chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard, author, community change agent and…

  • CARLY FIORINA: ‘WOMEN CHANGE THE WORLD’

    Former Hewlett-Packard CEO and GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina delivered a speech to the members of Peace Through Business — an international training and leadership program for women.

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    Carly Fiorina: Technology Can Help People Use ‘God-Given Gifts’ to Fulfill Their Potential

    (The Daily Signal) – Former CEO of Hewlett-Packard Carly Fiorina spoke at a local Maid-Rite here on Thursday; saying technology is a tool than can be used “to re-engage citizens in the process of their government.”

  • Carly Fiorina takes on foreign policy

    (Washington Examiner) – Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina has been doing her homework, and revealed her foreign policy chops Thursday night in an interview with conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt.

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    Carly Fiorina: America’s Iron Lady

    An incredible woman has launched her campaign for the US Presidency. A friend of Israel and a foreign policy hawk, Carly shows promise.

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    Carly Fiorina answers questions about President’s policies

    (Newton Daily News) – During a meet and greet session at Bridgehouse Coffee in Newton on Saturday, Republican candidate Carly Fiorina didn't hold back about her views on President Barack Obama's policies regarding immigration and healthcare.

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    Carly Fiorina says America needs a businesslike approach, not more politics

    For too long, she says, America has relied on the “political class” to fix long-term problems such as illegal immigration and the inefficiencies in the Department of Veterans Affairs. And for too long, she says, they have failed.

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