Born in Texas, Charlotte Beers has combined her business insight with an innate Southern charm to become highly successful in the competitive world of advertising and marketing, which in turn took her on to the position of Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs reporting to Secretary of State Colin Powell. Charlotte was named “the most powerful woman in advertising” and was called “the queen of Madison Avenue.” Featured on the cover of Fortune Magazine and Business Week Magazine as one of the most powerful women in America, her mantra of the difference between products and brands revolutionized major ad campaigns, bringing unprecedented success to her clients and the advertising agencies she managed.
Charlotte began her career in advertising as an account executive at J. Walter Thompson Advertising, becoming the first female Senior Vice President in the firm's history. From J. Walter Thompson, Charlotte was called to bring her skills as a turnaround agent to Tatham-Laird & Kudner as CEO. During her time as Tatham’s CEO, their billings tripled and major accounts were brought under the company's umbrella. Her success led her to her next position as Chairman/CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, a $5.4 billion, 8,000-employee, multinational advertising agency. In her five years with the firm, billings increased by $2 billion. Harvard Business School and many other universities still teach this best-selling case study on leadership titled “Charlotte Beers at Ogilvy.”
From 2001 to 2003, she served as Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy & Public Affairs, taking on the task of bringing Brand America to the world, with special focus on the Middle East. For her service, Charlotte was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the State Department's highest honor.
Charlotte’s additional accolades include the “Legend in Leadership Award” from the Yale School of Management, being named one of Glamour Magazine's “Women of the Year,” the Sara Lee Frontrunner Award and the esteemed Matrix Award from the New York Women in Communications. Charlotte was also inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame in 2009.
Charlotte currently serves on the Board of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and conducts seminars throughout Europe and the United States called “The X Factor,” “X” representing the potential of women to lead. The workshops have given women the tools to take charge, find pride and power at work, and to learn to never miss a moment to lead in the many industries they represent.