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“Legacy of Excellence“ Award Recipient

Marilyn Johnson

Special Adviser/Former CEO of the International Women’s Forum

Marilyn Johnson joined the International Women’s Forum with professional experience in education, broadcasting and corporate marketing, development and sales. In her early career, she was an elementary school educator and a television personality, reporting news and weather. Prior to joining the IWF as CEO, Ms. Johnson retired as the IBM Vice President of Market Development based in Armonk, New York. In this capacity, she led an organization responsible for developing IBM’s strategy for (and marketing to) businesses owned or operated by Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Women in the Americas. In 2005 she expanded her mission to include women-owned and women-led businesses in selected markets around the globe, expanding IBM market share significantly. She has held executive positions in key IBM business units and has had management and operational responsibility in North America, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and Asia. A graduate of John Marshall University, her advanced degrees are in Education, and she attended the Harvard Business School Strategic Leadership Forum representing Finance Sector Marketing for IBM. She has held positions on the Executive Board of the Council for Better Business Bureaus and the Executive Boards of the Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Foundation, the National Council of Negro Women, and American Airlines Marketing Advisory Council. She has been applauded for her active commitment to mentoring and coaching women in various career paths. Ms. Johnson has been a featured speaker for numerous professional organizations and universities around the world, including The World Diversity Conference in the City of Prague in the Czech Republic; the Black Women Executive Roundtable hosted by the Mayor of Paris, France; B.I.G. (Blacks in Government), Washington, D.C.; AWAKE in Mysore, India; Women Chiefs in Canberra, Australia; and Global Organization for Leadership and Diversity (GOLD) in Tokyo, Japan. In recognition of her many business and professional achievements, Ms. Johnson has received numerous awards, including the “Corporate Supporter of Women Entrepreneurs Award” in Beijing, China; “The Profiles of Prominence Award” from the National Women of Achievement, Inc.; and the Center for Women’s Business Research “Leading By Example Award.” She also was named one of “The Top 25 Influential Black Women” by The Network Journal magazine and was inducted into the YWCA of New York City’s prestigious “Academy of Women Leaders.” She has been featured in Working Mother magazine, ESSENCE magazine, Minority Business News, The Financial Times, The Atlanta Tribune, Global Executive Women, Enterprising Women magazine, and Uptown Professional magazine.




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