Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, a 1980 MBA graduate from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, announced her bid today to become the first woman president of the United States.
Fiorina donated $100,000 to the Smith School’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship in 2007 and has remained engaged at the university. “My first introduction to business was as a secretary,” she told Smith graduates during the school’s spring commencement in 2006. “I typed and I filed because I had to earn enough money to pay my rent.”
During her commencement keynote address, Fiorina described her journey from the Smith School to AT&T to HP, where she led the company’s merger with Compaq Computer Corp. “Leadership is about making a positive difference,” she said. “Leadership is about changing the order of things.”
She also paid tribute to former dean Rudy Lamone during a career achievement event in 2012. “He sees the potential in other people,” Fiorina said. “Rudy Lamone changed my life.”
More recently, Fiorina spoke to Smith Business magazine about the need for more women in senior leadership roles. “Human potential is the only limitless resource we have,” she said in the fall 2014 issue. “If we do not fully tap human potential, then we do not solve our problems. And women are the most underutilized resource in the world.”