KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Ilene Gordon

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Ilene Gordon Profile Photo

Keynote Speaker

Ilene Gordon

President, Chairman & CEO, Ingredion Incorporated (2009 – 2017)

As a former FORTUNE 500 CEO and effective corporate director, Ilene Gordon's journey to the top required inventive management of her career and her professional life, affording her unique perspective on executive leadership, corporate governance, and the value of a STEM education for women.

Ilene Gordon Profile Photo

CONTACT WSB FOR Ilene Gordon'S SPEAKING FEES

Ilene Gordon is a seasoned/veteran business leader who served as CEO of Ingredion, a Fortune 500 food company, making her at the time one of only 24 women who were CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. She was named five times to Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business, U.S. list, and twice to Fortune’s International List.

Ilene Gordon’s stellar career in the business world, which reached its heights when she became the CEO and chairman of the Fortune 500 company Ingredion, was defined by breaking barriers and transforming the food industry for the better. She was responsible for leading Ingredion, a food-ingredients company, from $3.9 billion to nearly $6 billion in annual sales from 2009 to 2017. Previously, Ilene was president and CEO of Alcan Packaging, a $6.5 billion global packaging business based in Paris, France. Gordon spent the first 17 years of her corporate career in executive roles of increasing responsibility at the Packaging Corporation of America, a division of Tenneco Inc., and at Signode, a leading global packaging company. She started her working life at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) as a strategy consultant based in the Boston, London, and Chicago offices.

Currently, Ilene is the presiding director of International Paper, a director of Lockheed Martin, and on the public board of IFF (International Flavors and Fragrances). Ilene is also a board member as a past chairman of the board of The Economic Club of Chicago and on the executive board Americas of MIT Sloan School of Management. She also sits on the investment committees for her daughter’s and son’s firms, BEA Real Estate and Bluestein Ventures, respectively. Gordon holds a B.S. in mathematics, Phi Beta Kappa, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mass., and an M.S. in management from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

Featured Videos

Ilene Gordon Profile Photo
Ilene Gordon
Ilene Gordon on The Business Case for Diversity
Ilene Gordon Profile Photo
Ilene Gordon
Ilene Gordon on Proving the Naysayers Wrong
Ilene Gordon Profile Photo
Ilene Gordon
Ilene Gordon – What She Brought
Ilene Gordon Profile Photo
Ilene Gordon
Ilene Gordon on More Than the Brand or the Hardware
Ilene Gordon Profile Photo
Ilene Gordon
Ilene Gordon on Adapting Globalized Solutions to Local Consumer Demand
Ilene Gordon Profile Photo
Ilene Gordon
Ilene Gordon on Fostering a Culture of Smart Risk-Taking
Ilene Gordon Profile Photo
Ilene Gordon
Ilene Gordon on Expanding into Global Markets

Ilene Gordon’s Speech Topics

  • Challenges for Dual Career Couples and Families to Achieve Success

    Gordon-Bluestein offer several key pieces of advice to the audience, based on their own experience, on how to navigate the dual career-family environment. Lessons learned include the 48 hour rule and being Mr. Gordon-all focused on creating a supportive spouse- career situation. The authors have also been recognized as key bloggers on these subjects for Psychology Today. (Book called” Doubling Down: the Secret Sauce for Dual-Career Families.”)

  • Journey to the Top: Leadership Lessons Learned

    From a young management consultant in London to the CEO of a FORTUNE 500 company, Ilene Gordon strategically managed her career path to the corner office while raising a family. Her experiences managing male colleagues twice her age to commuting to Paris from Chicago to take advantage of an executive opportunity taught her a number of engaging and valuable leadership lessons that are useful to business leaders climbing the executive ladder.

  • Stemming the Gender Gap in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

    Ilene Gordon attributes her success in the business world to her analytic capabilities she developed as a math major at MIT.  Back then, the ratio of female to male students was 10:1. While more and more female students are studying STEM subjects, males still outnumber them. Females now earn only about 37 percent of undergrad STEM degrees, and not surprisingly, the gender gap persists in the workplace. Future U.S. economic growth and competitiveness largely rests on the innovations of industries that rely on employees with STEM expertise. If it persists, the STEM gender gap can put the nation at a competitive disadvantage and its female citizens at an economic disadvantage. This presentation will focus on factors that perpetuate the gender gap in STEM education and careers and identify actions to narrow the gap.

  • Building a Better Business Through Effective Boards

    Well governed companies tend to perform better than companies with weak or ineffective boards. Active, involved boards go above and beyond traditional roles of governance, shareholder advocacy, and compensation to help companies win the marketplace. They look into the future, get involved in the development of strategic plans, and challenge management. Ilene Gordon has been a corporate director at various companies for more than 30 years and currently serves on the boards of three public companies. In this presentation, she outlines the characteristics of effective boards and how they contribute to a company’s long term success. 

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