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Carly Fiorina

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.

Featured Videos

Carly Fiorina on "Perspectives on Leadership: Why It Ma ...

Carly Fiorina Speaks at the Western Conservative Summit ...

Buckley Program Lecture Series 11/5/13 Carly Fiorina

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. She is currently working on a third book about leadership.

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.

As Washington throws more money, and fewer good solutions, at long standing social and economic problems, Americans are quickly losing patience, as well as their jobs and homes, with an inefficient public sector and stagnant economy. Growth of government has been energetically advocated as a solution to economic distress and capitalism has been cast as the villain of the economic downturn.

In a rousing, compelling, and enlightening discussion, former U.S. Senate candidate and McCain Republican Victory Chair, Carly Fiorina demonstrates how the government needs to address the right problems to achieve the right results for issues that are vital to America’s future. A credible voice for business and a tireless champion of the private sector, Carly speaks passionately on free enterprise, job creation and individual initiative, believing that people will make better choices for themselves and their families than others can make for them. Her authentic, adroit advocacy is indispensable in the current context of economic recession and political stalemate.

A renowned business and technology leader, Carly Fiorina cogently illustrates the power of technology and innovation that comprises the core of American competitive advantage and economic prosperity, and explains how the U.S. must lead in the technology-based industries that will define the 21st century including social media, health- and bio-technology as well as energy and space technology. In this eye-opening, insightful and engaging presentation, Carly frames the challenges facing the U.S., addresses the underlying issues, and offers powerful, practical strategies and solutions to marshal America’s vast resources of talent and infrastructure in ways that will lead to transformative results.

Innovation is a requirement for any company that wants to stay ahead of the competition and thrive in the global economy. Innovation is not simply a breakthrough idea, a hot new product or a lucky accident. Instead, consistent and effective innovation requires the focused introduction of new ideas and new ways of doing business. Innovation must be managed, measured and inspected. As the leader of the largest technology company in the world, no one is more qualified to speak about innovation than Carly Fiorina. As an active participant in the public policy and political process, Carly also speaks knowledgeably about the role of government and the impact of regulation and taxation on innovation.

Leading an organization, effectively empowering employees, and maintaining industry dominance simultaneously is not an easy task but is the daily challenge organizational leaders must conquer to be prosperous and profitable. As CEO of the world’s first $100 billion information technology company, Carly Fiorina is all too familiar with the complex, arduous path these individuals tread and the far-reaching strategic decisions they must make with finesse and fortitude.

A passionate business evangelist who made tough choices in the pursuit of growing her organizations, Carly delivers a powerful, pragmatic presentation on what leaders must do to achieve their desired results including the critical steps they must take to turn failing situations into successes. Carly began her business career as a secretary and achieved the pinnacle of corporate success. Drawing on this experience, she highlights the importance of unlocking potential in others. She passionately believes that leaders are made, not born, and that leadership potential exists at every level of an organization. “Anyone can lead, at any time, from anywhere. Leadership is not about title, position or wealth. It is about making a positive difference.”

In this high-stakes political year with ramifications for every business regardless of election outcome, the perspectives of a unique leader with exceptional experience in business, politics and policy is critical to future planning. Can government policies keep pace with technology and globalization? Is regulation striking the right balance to ensure economic growth?

Carly Fiorina is one of those rare individuals who has been Chairman and CEO of a Fortune 20 company, served on corporate boards, run for political office, and provided trusted policy advice to federal agencies including the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce. This career span and set of experiences bestows her with an unparalleled perspective on our nation’s most complex issues. With deep knowledge and brilliant insight, Carly discusses the role of the private sector in restoring confidence, the vital nature of small business, and how organizations can successfully capitalize on the opportunities of a dynamic global marketplace.

Carly Fiorina is one of the world’s best known business leaders from her days at AT&T, Lucent, and as Chairman and CEO of HP. She chose to enter the political fray, first as Victory Chair for John McCain’s bid for the Presidency, and later, in her own campaign for the Senate challenging California four-term Senator Barbara Boxer. With no regrets and valuable lessons learned, Carly provides a business person’s view on politics and an insider’s view on political campaigns, a strikingly rare and valuable combination. She offers a peerless perspective on why business and politics must mix, why the private sector needs to take a more active role in politics, and how businesses can be more effective in engaging with Washington. As people seek solutions amid the din of partisan politics and ploys, Carly deftly demonstrates why we must return to a citizen government vs. allowing politicians to play politics as usual.

In this century of advanced technology and globalization, sustainable growth is increasingly being sacrificed for short term profits by myopic business leaders and corporate boards beholden to share price and market fluctuations. However, this strategy is placing companies – and entire economies in peril and is untenable for a secure economic future. Faced with this rapidly developing danger, what needs to happen for capitalism to survive – and thrive?

Carly Fiorina began her career as a secretary for a small business. She became the first woman to lead a Fortune 20 company and was named Fortune’s Most Powerful Woman in Business for six consecutive years. She has also served on the boards of the Kellogg Company, Cisco Systems, Merck and Taiwan Semiconductor. Her hard-earned experience gives her unmatched insights on the challenges of balancing short- term profits and long-term sustainable growth. Drawing from first-hand knowledge, Carly offers a realistic, practical perspective on the smart business of good citizenship so business leaders and board members can fulfill all their responsibilities to shareholders, employees, customers and communities.

As the CEO of HP, Carly Fiorina tackled issues of product focus and innovation, merger and integration, structure and process, reward and recognition all of which significantly impact an organization’s culture. Her efforts played out during the boom and bust and the worst technology recession in 25 years. Her phenomenal success of transforming the complacent culture at HP into a dynamic, innovative environment that rose to become the industry leader is a testament to the solid management philosophy and practices she instituted while there. From this experience, Carly shares her personal account of what it takes to create a high-performance culture and organization. She also openly discusses the difficult path of major acquisition and transformational change. With many organizations adjusting to the new realities of what the financial crisis has wrought, navigating uncertainty, managing change and building a high performance culture are critical to a motivated, focused and productive workforce.

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  • "A groundbreaking iconic leader. When Fiorina speaks, everyone listens…"