Suzanne Rich Folsom
Senior Vice President, General Counsel
Philips Morris International
Suzanne Rich Folsom is an accomplished board member and results-oriented C-Suite leader with broad global business experience and a successful track record of driving transformation at public and private companies of all sizes and across diverse industries, especially during periods of heightened regulatory attention and intense public scrutiny.
Ms. Folsom is known for her integrity, innovative thinking, crisis management leadership, and the critical ability to build consensus around challenging decisions. She is an internationally-recognized corporate governance expert, who has created and implemented award-winning legal, regulatory, and compliance programs, which, as a result, have driven improved stability and reputations for myriad corporations. She is a unique lawyer-leader with direct P&L experience, as well as operational responsibility and accountability. Her expertise also spans business strategy, enterprise
risk management, mergers and acquisitions, SEC reporting, executive compensation, succession planning, trade, labor, cybersecurity, government affairs and global public policy, as well as environmental, social and governance issues. Additionally, her leadership experience includes CEO and board transitions, and the deft handling of shareholder activists. Ms. Folsom has been recognized by The National Law Journal, as a cyber/privacy trailblazer for her strategic leadership in the aftermath of a cyber breach and bold partnership with the U.S. government to combat the ongoing threat. Her long-standing commitment to sustained diversity and inclusion in the workplace has directly translated into the creation of top performing teams and initiatives for which she has been recognized.
Throughout her career, Ms. Folsom has been a change agent and catalyst for organizational growth at multiple companies and organizations. As Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Philip Morris International, a Fortune 100 company, Ms. Folsom is a key leader in the company’s transformation and progress toward a smoke-free future and the end to cigarette production. Arguably the greatest corporate restructuring in our lifetime. Previously, she was the General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, and SVP-Government Affairs at United States Steel Corporation, a Fortune 200 company. While there, she played an important leadership role in reinvigorating U.S. Steel’s business growth and was responsible for legal, regulatory and compliance, the corporate secretary function, environmental affairs, labor relations, security, aircraft, trade, global public policy, and joint ventures worldwide. Simultaneously, Ms. Folsom oversaw the operational performance of the company’s real estate division and was one of the primary architects of a successful international fair trade campaign for the steel industry. Ms. Folsom, who grew up in the military, proudly served as U.S. Steel’s executive sponsor of the Veterans’ Business Resource Group, dedicated to supporting the employment of veterans.
Prior to joining U.S. Steel, Ms. Folsom helped drive the turnaround at ACADEMI, a private paramilitary security firm (and successor to Blackwater), post-scandal. She served as the EVP, General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer, and established an effective legal, regulatory, and compliance framework to help the company recover from its legacy crises. Ms. Folsom also played an instrumental role in stabilizing the American International Group (AIG), a Fortune 100 company, during the 2008 global financial crisis. At AIG, she was the VP, Chief Regulatory & Compliance Officer, and Deputy General Counsel, and helped establish the company’s global governance framework. Earlier, Ms. Folsom served as the Counselor to the President and Director of the Department of Institutional Integrity at the World Bank, where she was responsible for the multilateral organization’s anti-corruption program in 189 countries. She was also responsible for the Bank’s relationship with one of its key stakeholders – the United States. Ms. Folsom served under three Bank presidents during a period of unprecedented examination.
Importantly, Ms. Folsom’s career includes service as: Private Secretary to H.M. Queen Noor of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; First Family Liaison to the U.S. Presidential Inaugural Committee; Special Assistant to the U.S. First Lady; Advisor to the U.S. Delegation to the 1985 U.N. World Women’s Conference in Kenya; Chief of Staff to the Co-Chair of a national political party; and she has practiced law with three global law firms. Ms. Folsom has worked across Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North/South America, and lived around the world, enabling her to develop a global business, regulatory, and political network. A graduate of Duke University and Georgetown University Law Center (cum laude), she is a frequent lecturer, thought leadership contributor and the recipient of numerous awards for her accomplishments in the area of legal, compliance, cybersecurity and diversity & inclusion. Ms. Folsom’s board service includes non-profit, private and public company boards in Europe and the United States