Ruth R. Harkin

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Ruth R. Harkin was appointed in 1997 as United Technologies Corporation’s senior vice president, international affairs and government relations, and chair of United Technologies International, UTC’s international representation arm. She was based in the corporation’s Washington, DC, office.

Prior to that time, Mrs. Harkin served as president and chief executive officer of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), an independent, U.S. government-owned corporation. She was appointed to that position by President Bill Clinton and confirmed by the United States Senate in 1993.

At OPIC, Mrs. Harkin refocused the agency’s energy to better serve U.S. foreign policy and economic goals and the American business community. During her four-year tenure, OPIC greatly expanded its business with essentially the same size workforce of fewer than 200 employees. Between fiscal year 1993 and fiscal year 1996, OPIC committed more than $6 billion in financing and sold $34 billion worth of political risk insurance, supporting a total of 450 projects and earning a record four-year profit of $725 million.

A graduate of Catholic University Law School, Mrs. Harkin was one of the first women in the United States to be elected as a prosecutor when, in 1972, she was elected to the office of county attorney of Story County, Iowa. She was the county’s lead criminal prosecutor and also served as its corporate attorney. From 1979 to 1981, she served as deputy general counsel at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. From 1983 to 1993, Mrs. Harkin was of Counsel at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, where her clients included U.S. businesses engaged in international trade and investment.

Mrs. Harkin sits on the boards of directors of ConocoPhillips and the U.S.-Russia Business Council as well as the board of visitors of the College of Business Administration, University of Iowa. She is co-chair of the Russian Federation’s Foreign Investment Advisory Council Working Group on State Regulation of the Russian Economy. She is a member of the Iowa and Washington, DC, bar associations.

Mrs. Harkin is married to Senator Tom Harkin.

She was appointed to the Iowa Board of Regents in 2005.

(This entry was copied almost verbatim from the Iowa Board of Regents website.)

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