Success Stories

Member Spotlight: Dr. Charlotte Farmer, SVP & COO at Underwriters Laboratories Inc.

AboveBoard | May 14, 2021

The "relentless collaborator" on her leadership style.

Dr. Charlotte Farmer describes herself as a relentless collaborator. 

For over 10 years, she worked as the Managing Director of Integration and Operations at Mitre, where she led and supported the company’s nearly 8,000 technical experts.

Throughout her career, she has focused on realizing corporate strategies and customer requirements through public-private coalitions, calling on Fortune 50 companies and Federal agencies to solve tomorrow’s problems today. In equal measure are her passions to fill the STEM pipeline with minority women, and advocate for a better, more secure future for LGBTQ+ and veterans.

As a cyber security specialist and engineer—with B.S. and M.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering, and an MBA and Ph.D in Engineering Management—she has led efforts to strengthen America’s critical infrastructure and speed data to healthcare providers during COVID-19. Today? She's leading the team at Underwriters Laboratories Inc. as their Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. 

In March 2021, Dr. Farmer was one of the five amazing AboveBoard members we highlighted who are accomplishing huge and wonderful things in their industries. Below, we've excerpted some of her key points on how to approach leadership and the lessons she's learned throughout her career. 

Always be in learning mode. 
"Supported by open-mindedness and patience, listening and learning skills have made me a better problem-solver and decision-maker.  It’s okay to be impatient to get things done, but don’t be impatient about absorbing new ideas, different viewpoints, technological advances, market trends, sociological evolution, political forces, etc."

Everyone is a friend because it takes a village.
"I wouldn’t be here today if I didn’t treat everyone well, equally, and respectfully." 

Critical thinking saves me a lot of embarrassment.
"When I think things through objectively and logically, know the facts, consider the alternatives, anticipate the 'what-ifs,' and weigh the pros and cons, I end up with a defendable, justifiable position and sound recommendations.”

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