Ms. Ruth Harkin, a former head of the United States Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), is senior advisor for economic development finance, a position in which she assists clients to identify sources of support for feasibility studies and other project planning and support activities, finance, insurance, technical and policy assistance for projects worldwide.
An attorney by training, she was one of the first women in the United States to be elected as a prosecutor when she was elected to the office of county attorney of Story County, Iowa. She served as a deputy counsel for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and then a member of a major Washington, D.C. law firm.
In 1993, President Bill Clinton named her Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation where she directed OPIC operations for four years. Her term of office saw the transition of centrally planned economies to freer and more market-based systems in over 30 countries. Ms. Harkin guided OPIC operations to support U.S. business as it competed for billions of dollars to repair, upgrade or replace decaying infrastructure and to support new manufacturing, power and petroleum production facilities.
Ruth Harkin left the government and became United Technologies’ Senior Vice President for international affairs and government relations in April 1997, leading its Washington D.C. office. She later served as a member of the board of directors of ConocoPhillips, AbitibiBowater and National Toll Roads (NTR).
Ms. Harkin is a Member of the Board of Visitors of the College of Business Administration, University of Iowa. She has also served on the boards of the National Association of Manufacturers, the Korea Society and the U.S.-Russia Business Council and was the year 2000 U.S. Working Chair of the Transatlantic Business Dialogue. Ms. Harkin is a Member of State of Iowa Board of Regents.