with Reta Jo Lewis
“It’s not just about the the betterment of you and your family. It’s about the betterment of the community.”
That is one of the core values that helped guide Reta Jo Lewis through an eventful leadership journey, culminating in her current role as president and chair of the board of the Export Import Bank of the United States — the first African American to accomplish this. She is a passionate advocate for women in entrepreneurship and has a long history of working in politics and law.
In this episode, she shares more about her amazing leadership path (including time with Nelson Mandela), and how that can help you in your own career journey.
Lewis recently participated in ILA’s 2022 Global Conference in Washington, D.C., as a plenary speaker.
Here’s what Reta Jo and host Maureen Metcalf cover:
- The importance of feeling you’re working for something bigger than just yourself;
- Having confidence that the skills and knowledge you have now prepared you for your next career opportunity; and
- Why forging a network and relationships with peers, mentors, and role models is so important to developing as a leader.
About Reta Jo Lewis
Ms. Lewis is a senior executive with over 25 years of leadership experience in international affairs, legal, public policy, business and regulatory affairs, and subnational diplomacy.
On February 9, 2022, the U.S. Senate confirmed Reta Jo Lewis as EXIM’s President and Chair of the Board of Directors. Ms. Lewis was most recently a Senior Fellow and Director of Congressional Affairs at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Prior to her time at GMF, she served as the first-ever Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs under Secretary Hillary Clinton at the U.S. Department of State during the Obama-Biden Administration. As Special Representative, Lewis was the chief diplomat in charge of the international efforts to build and support strategic relationships between the federal government, state and local leaders, and their foreign counterparts. In 2013, she was awarded the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award.
Ms. Lewis was the first Black woman to serve as Vice President and Counselor to the President at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She led the Chamber’s initiatives focused on fostering strategic alliances between small businesses, especially women- and minority-owned businesses, entrepreneurs, and executives. She is a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and former Member of the Board of the Leadership Council for Women in National Security. Ms. Lewis received a J.D. from Emory University School of Law, an M.S.A.J. from American University, and a B.A. from the University of Georgia. She is a native of Statesboro, Georgia.
Host Maureen Metcalf
Maureen Metcalf, Founder and CEO is a highly sought-after expert in anticipating and leveraging future business trends to transform organizations. She has captured 30 years of experience in an award-winning series of books used by public, private, and academic organizations to align company-wide strategy, systems, and culture using Innovative Leadership techniques. As a preeminent change agent, Maureen has set strategic direction, then transformed client organizations, delivering significant results, including increased leadership effectiveness that drives improved profitability, organizational resilience, leadership team alignment, alignment, quality, community impact, employee engagement, and long-term sustainability.
Maureen shares her hard-won insights through public speaking, industry publications, interviews, and video presentations. She is a regular contributor to Forbes.com, host of the top international radio show, Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, and author of the award-winning Innovative Leadership book series. The series includes: Innovative Leadership Fieldbook; Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations; Innovative Leadership Workbook for Global Leaders; and Innovative Leadership for Health Care, among others.
The International Leadership Association named Maureen a Fellow in recognition of her contributions to the field of leadership. In addition to other board roles, she is on the advisory board of Franklin University’s Mason Leadership Center, where she was recognized for her contribution. She is also an Executive Committee member of the James Madison University School of Strategic Leadership advisory board.
About Innovating Leadership: Co-Creating Our Future
The pace of change in the world is increasing exponentially. Leadership must evolve. And that gets to the heart of our mission: To bring you the latest thoughts on leadership so you can innovate, learn, and evolve…growing your team, your business, and yourself! This series features a new interview every week. Host Maureen Metcalf interviews world leaders, global business and NPO executives, thought leaders, and researchers in a wide range of industries. It’s a breadth of perspectives unavailable anywhere else. Become an innovative leader in your own right!
Innovating Leadership is proud to partner with the International Leadership Association on a yearly series of episodes on global leadership with special ILA speakers, members, and guests.