Columbia College announces Carla Harris, senior executive with Morgan Stanley and chair of the National Women’s Business Council, will be keynote speaker for the April 30, 2016, undergraduate commencement ceremony.
Carla Harris is a vice chairman, wealth management, managing director and senior client advisor at Morgan Stanley. Ms. Harris has extensive industry experiences in the technology, media, retail, telecommunications, transportation, industrial, and healthcare sectors. In August 2013, Ms. Harris was appointed by President Barack Obama to chair the National Women’s Business Council.
For more than a decade, Ms. Harris was a senior member of the equity syndicate desk and executed transactions such as initial public offerings for UPS, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Ariba, Redback, and Immunex Corporation, one of the largest biotechnology common stock transactions in U.S. history. Ms. Harris was recently named to Fortune Magazine’s list of “The 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in Corporate America.”
Harris began her career with Morgan Stanley in 1987. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, she received from Harvard Business School an MBA, and an undergraduate degree in economics from Harvard University, magna cum laude. Harris has also received honorary doctorates from Marymount Manhattan College, Bloomfield College, Jacksonville University, Simmons College, the College of New Rochelle, St. Thomas Aquinas College and Fisk University. Harris is actively involved in her community and heartily believes that “we are blessed so that we can be a blessing to someone else.” She vowed that when she reached senior management and people came to her for advice, she would provide them with the tools, strategies, and pearls of wisdom honed by her own experiences, including missteps and victories.
Harris is the immediate past chair of the board of the Morgan Stanley Foundation and sits on several boards serving charitable and educational organizations. She has received numerous awards for her professional, charitable and community work. Harris is an accomplished singer and has performed sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall and released several albums. She is the author of the books Strategize to Win (2014) and Expect to Win (2009) (Hudson Street Press).