Women in Public Affairs to Know

September 15, 2020

As part of McGuireWoods Consulting’s “Women in Public Affairs to Know” series, Michele Satterlund — a McGuireWoods partner and MWC senior vice president — recently talked to Carly Fiorina, founder and chair of Carly Fiorina Enterprises and of Unlocking Potential.

Unlocking Potential is a nonprofit that invests in human potential by supporting local leaders who solve problems in their communities and places of work, equipping them with the behaviors, characteristics, disciplines and tools to increase their leadership and problem-solving capacity.

Fiorina’s experience spans from secretary to CEO, from public to private, and from for-profit to nonprofit. She started out as a secretary for a nine-person real-estate business and eventually became the first woman ever to lead a Fortune 50 company.

When Fiorina was recruited to lead Hewlett Packard in 1999, the industry was facing the worst technology recession in 25 years. Under her leadership, revenue grew, innovation tripled, growth quadrupled and HP became the 11th largest company in the United States.

Fiorina was appointed by President George W. Bush and CIA Director Michael Hayden to chair the External Advisory Board of the CIA after Sept. 11, 2001. In 2015, she launched a campaign for president of the United States. Running as a political outsider, she spoke about empowering and engaging citizens to take back government from a political ruling class that has failed to deliver results.

Fiorina is a best-selling author whose titles include “Tough Choices” and “Rising to the Challenge.” Her third book “Find Your Way” is out now.

Satterlund’s interview with Fiorina appears on the McGuireWoods Consulting website.