Lessons in Leadership
Her talk, “Transformation: How A 210-Year-Old Science Company Builds for the Future,” begins at 10:30 a.m. in Hynson Lounge.
Ellen Kullman first joined the chemical giant in 1988 as a marketing manager and quickly rose through the ranks, leading several successful business segments before becoming Executive Vice President at DuPont. That position put her in charge of three business platforms and several functions, including Marketing & Sales. In 2008, she was tapped to lead the company’s growth in emerging international markets. She became the CEO of DuPont on Jan. 1, 2009, and was named board chair one year later.
As DuPont’s first female CEO, Kullman has championed market-driven science and collaboration, moving the decision-making process closer to customers around the world. In August of last year, Forbes named Kullman the fifth most powerful businesswomen in the world, and one of the “100 Most Powerful Women in the World.” The magazine cited her “aggressive goals at DuPont to help improve global food security by 2020, including a $10-billion investment in the R&D of products that help agriculture sustainability and food availability, provide educational opportunities to 2 million young people and improve the livelihoods of 3 million farmers.”
A member of the non-partisan President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, she has advocated for worker training programs and improved STEM education.
A native of Wilmington, Kullman holds a master’s degree in management from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Tufts, where she now serves as a Trustee and sits on the board of advisors for the School of Engineering. She also is a member of the board of directors of United Technologies Corp and is active in the U.S.-India CEO Forum, the Business Council, and the executive committee of SCI-America.
Washington College created the Leadership Series in 2011 to honor the vision and values of founding patron George Washington, especially his belief in a better future achieved through education, respect for scholarship, and the ideals of leadership, character, and service to others.
Past speakers have included Raghavan Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank; Lance Weaver, former Vice Chairman of MBNA Corporation; and Paul Reed Smith, founder and owner of PRS Guitars.