Women’s leadership conference to include liberal arts alumna Jennifer Mies Lowe

August 26, 2016

This is the first of nine in a series of Q&As with College of the Liberal Arts alumnae who will be participating in Penn State Women: Leaders of Today and Tomorrow. The event, scheduled for Oct. 25-26, will bring together leaders from the finance, technology and business fields for a panel discussion and one-on-one meetings with students from all majors across the University.

What makes a successful leader? For Jennifer Mies Lowe, a 1998 international politics alumna, it’s the ability to build a top-quality team and trust them to execute on strategy, and as Boeing’s vice president for national strategy and engagement, she’s been able to do just that. Mies Lowe’s organization includes all of Boeing’s public policy strategy, state and local operations, worldwide charitable giving, third party relationships, its political action committee, and a new grassroots political mobilization team.   

What activities did you participate in early in your career that helped prepare you for leadership?

I was fortune to work for two great U.S. senators, one of whom was in Senate leadership. I served as Sen. Norm Coleman’s chief of staff and was the first female to hold the position of staff director for Sen. Ted Stevens, Office of the President Pro Tempore. I also directed the U.S.-China Interparliamentary Group, which was the official dialogue mechanism between the U.S. Senate and the National People’s Congress. I was often the youngest person in the room and the only woman. I was able to learn from truly good leaders who taught me the importance of bipartisanship and the importance of taking a chance on younger staff and then working to grow them.

How do you distinguish yourself in a large organization?

I work hard, very hard. I may not be the smartest person in the room, but I will be the hardest working. I also stay connected to each of my employees — their goals both personally and professionally and their development needs. I am constantly working on creating a good team dynamic, where people can bring new ideas to the table and feel valued, where they want to come to work and give their best.

How have you been able to utilize your liberal arts background during your career?

The ability to value diversity of thought and opinion — that is the hallmark of a good liberal arts education and is absolutely critical to being a good leader and building a high-quality team. You have to constantly be looking at new ways of doing things, new ideas, seeing scenarios through a lens other than your own. Additionally, communications skills are a hugely important piece to doing well. The ability to effectively communicate to company leadership, to my peers, and to my employees, is essential to running an effective organization.

  • Jennifer Mies Lowe head shot

    Jennifer Mies Lowe is one of nine alumnae participating in Penn State Women: Leaders of Today and Tomorrow in October.

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated August 26, 2016