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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

11-07-08

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CarlyFiorina2

Carly Fiorina, ISU's Fall 2008 Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics

Contacts:

Dianne Bystrom, Catt Center for Women and Politics, (515) 294-4185, (515) 451-5084 (c), dbystrom@iastate.edu

Pat Miller, Lectures Program, (515) 294-9935, pamiller@iastate.edu

Mike Ferlazzo, News Service, (515) 294-8986, ferlazzo@iastate.edu

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina to give Smith Chair lecture Nov. 17

AMES, Iowa -- Carly Fiorina, the former chair and CEO of Hewlett-Packard, will visit Iowa State University on Monday, Nov. 17, as the Fall 2008 Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics.

Still the only woman to lead a Fortune 20 company, Fiorina will present "Tough Choices: Women, Leadership and Power" at 7 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union. She will discuss her memoir, "Tough Choices," which details the personal story behind the public persona of her rise to power as a young woman in a male-dominated profession. The event is free and open to the public.

"The goal of the Catt Center is to bring in a diversity of voices from women leaders, and we are pleased to host Carly Fiorina, not only because of her experiences in the business world but also because of her recent work with John McCain's presidential campaign and her philanthropic projects focusing on leadership, women's empowerment and global citizenship," said Dianne Bystrom, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics. "Plus, she has recently published a book that we find interesting, especially in terms of the gendered stereotypes that women leaders continue to face in our society."

A Fortune 20 woman pioneer

As chairman and CEO at Hewlett-Packard from 1999-2005, Fiorina led a reinvention of the company by steering it through the dot-com bust, the worst technology recession in 25 years, and a controversial merger with Compaq Computer -- now acknowledged to be the most successful merger in high-tech history. The merger laid the foundation for HP to become the first $100 billion info tech company, creating leadership positions for the company in every product line and every country.

Fiorina wrote about the merger in her New York Times and international bestselling memoir, saying "It was a made-for-television drama complete with a reluctant, slightly rumpled good guy battling valiantly to save his father's legacy and protect the little people pitted against a possibly wicked, definitely ego-driven, controlling woman determined to have her own way."

In February of this year, Tom Peters -- a critically acclaimed author on business management practices best known for his book "In Search of Excellence" -- named Fiorina 2007 CEO of the Year, referencing Hewlett-Packard's breakthrough post-merger performance.

"When people have stereotypes of what you can't do, show them what you can do," said Fiorina during a May 2005 speech. "When they have stereotypes of what you won't do, show them what you will do. Every time you resist someone else's smaller notion of who you really are, you test your courage and your endurance. Each time you endure, and stay true to yourself, you become stronger and better."

Prior to HP, Fiorina rose through the ranks at AT&T and Lucent Technologies over a 20-year span, leading the initial public offering of Lucent -- at the time, the largest IPO in history -- and becoming president of its largest business.

A senior economic advisor to McCain

During the 2008 presidential campaign, she served as chair of Victory '08 and as a senior economic adviser to Republican candidate McCain. Fiorina also is the chair of the Fiorina Foundation, a philanthropic organization. In that capacity, she chairs the One Woman Initiative, a fund for women's empowerment, and is a founding partner of the African Leadership Academy. She also serves as a member of the Defense Business Board and the Advisory Group for Transformational Diplomacy for the Department of State.

Fiorina is the 18th prominent woman leader to visit Iowa State under sponsorship of the Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics, which was established in 1995 to honor the Iowa native and longtime political leader. Smith was the first and only woman to chair the Republican National Party (1974-1977).

Additional information on the Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women in Politics, including a complete list of the past speakers, is available at: http://www.las.iastate.edu/CattCenter/smithchair.shtml.

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ToughChoices

Fiorina's best-selling memoir, "Tough Choices"

Quick look

Carly Fiorina, former chair and CEO of Hewlett-Packard, will visit ISU on Monday, Nov. 17, as the Fall 2008 Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics. She'll give a free, public talk titled "Tough Choices: Women, Leadership and Power," at 7 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union.

Quote

"When people have stereotypes of what you can't do, show them what you can do. When they have stereotypes of what you won't do, show them what you will do. Every time you resist someone else's smaller notion of who you really are, you test your courage and your endurance. Each time you endure, and stay true to yourself, you become stronger and better."

Carly Fiorina in 2005 speech