Highest-Ranking African-American Woman Exec at GM to Speak at Haas, Oct. 9

If you have ever wondered about how customers are changing one of the world’s largest automotive companies, then come hear GM’s Alicia Boler-Davis Oct. 9 at 12:30 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Room.

This summer, Boler-Davis was promoted to oversee global vehicle quality and global customer experience at General Motors as a senior vice president, reporting directly to the chairman and CEO of GM, Dan Akerson. Many see Boler-Davis as a rising star in the automotive industry. She also is one of the few African-American women who hold a top leadership post in an industry still dominated by men.

Registration for the event will be available on the Dean's Speaker Series website as the date approaches.

Boler-Davis’ promotion in July came around the same time that GM earned the most awards among major auto manufacturers in the 2013 J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study, the industry benchmark for new-vehicle quality. She was previously the manager of GM’s Orion Assembly and Pontiac Stamping plants and held chief engineer positions for the Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano.

Boler-Davis called quality improvement “a team sport” in an article in the Detroit Free Press at the time. “Long gone are the days when we could launch a new vehicle with problems and plan to fix them. We need the first car off the line to be as good as the last.”

Boler-Davis grew up around the automobile industry in Romulus, Mich., earned a bachelor’s of science in chemical engineering from Northwestern University in 1991 and graduated with a master’s in engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1998. After joining GM in 1994, Boler-Davis served in several engineering leadership positions, including manufacturing engineer and vehicle chief engineer, and became the first African-American woman ever appointed to plant manager at a GM assembly facility.

This Dean's Speaker Series event is made possible in part by the Mary Josephine Hicks Distinguished Speaker Series Fund.