Most Influential People2019

Marillyn Hewson

By Penny Pritzker
Chairman, CEO, and president of Lockheed Martin, Marillyn Hewson
Mackenzie Stroh

As U.S. Secretary of Commerce, I saw Marillyn Hewson in action when she served as one of our nation’s finest commercial diplomats on vital international economic missions. Trained as an industrial engineer, and now, as CEO, in her 20th job at Lockheed Martin, she has doubled the company’s market cap and broken countless barriers in an industry long dominated by men.

She was born of humble roots in Kansas, and we share the tragic impact of the loss of a father to a heart attack at much too early an age. She helped care for her siblings and took odd jobs to assist her single mother in paying the bills. Marillyn has said her mother’s resilience “taught me everything I needed to know about leadership.”

Today, she works tirelessly to build our country’s innovation capacity and give more Americans the skills necessary to thrive—in part through her support of STEM education, as well as trade and export expansion. A person of integrity, vision and service, Marillyn is a living example of how business leaders can drive positive change in their companies and our communities when they take a long-term approach.

Pritzker is a former U.S. Secretary of Commerce