Newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.

MAKERS Moment

Planning a Future

Planning a Future

More From Ursula

In this video

Burns offers advice to young women and men for planning their lives and careers.

Ursula's Biography

Cause of Choice: Change the Equation
Early Career Ambitions: Mathematician or scientist
First Job: Cashier at Woolworth's
Three Words to Describe Herself: Fearless, passionate, and fast

"I'm a black lady from the Lower East Side of New York," Ursula Burns told Fast Company in 2011. "Not a lot intimidates me." It’s a stance that has served Burns—and her Xerox Corporation colleagues and shareholders—well. Armed with engineering degrees from Columbia and NYU, she has rolled up her sleeves to reinvent the famed copier corporation for a post-copier age. Burns’s 2009 ascension, as Chief Executive Officer of Xerox and as Chairperson of its Board the following year, made her the first African-American woman to head a Fortune 500 Company. And in taking the Xerox reins from her mentor, predecessor and “true partner” Anne Mulcahy, she demonstrated that female leadership in the highest corporate reaches can be more than a novelty.
 
Forbes consistently rates Burns as one of the most powerful woman in the world. She’s a board director of the American Express corporation while providing leadership counsel to FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), the National Academy Foundation, MIT and to the U.S. Olympic Committee. In 2009, Burns was appointed by President Obama to help lead the White House national program on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). She was appointed vice chair for the President's Export Council in March 2010. 

Related Videos

Shelly Lazarus
Shelly Lazarus
Pioneering Advertising Executive

In her 40-plus years at Ogilvy & Mather, Shelly Lazarus went from frequently being the only woman in the room, to being the woman running the show at the global advertising gia...

Ellie Smeal
Ellie Smeal
Co-Founder & President, Feminist Majority

Eleanor (Ellie) Smeal, is Co-Founder and President of the Feminist Majority Foundation and former President of the National Organization for Women (NOW). Through both organizations...

Li Yan
Li Yan
Olympic Speed Skating Coach

Li Yan is a Silver medal winning Olympic speed skater and coach of the Chinese Short track speed skating team. Yan grew up in Heilongjiang, and first learned to skate in elementary...

Jane Pratt
Jane Pratt
Editor-In-Chief, xoJANE.COM

Over the last 25 years, Jane Pratt has given an authentic voice to women through media. She is the founding editor of "Sassy", "Jane", current editor-in-chief o...