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Dennis Hightower    

Former U.S. Deputy Commerce Secretary, CEO and Harvard Business Professor

Dennis F. Hightower served as the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce from August 2009 to August 2010, where he functioned as the Chief Operating Officer. Dennis Hightower is also a retired business executive with over 35 years of strategic management consulting, operational planning, strategic planning, international general management, and corporate governance experience a career that took him to over 91 countries. He has lived in Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Before joining the Obama Administration, Dennis Hightower had been Chief Executive Officer of Europe Online Networks, S.A. - a privately-held, satellite-delivered broadband interactive entertainment company based in Luxembourg. Previously, Hightower was Professor of Management at Harvard Business School, from which he received the MBA degree in 1974.

Dennis Hightower retired in 1996, as a senior executive with The Walt Disney Company, having served as President of Walt Disney Television & Telecommunications; and as President of Disney Consumer Products Europe, Middle East and Africa, based in Paris.

Earlier in his career, Dennis Hightower was a manager at Xerox Corporation; senior associate and engagement manager at McKinsey & Co., Inc.; vice president and general manager with General Electric in Mexico; vice president of corporate planning at Mattel, Inc.; and managing director and Los Angeles office manager with Russell Reynolds, Associates, Inc.

A native of Washington, D.C., Dennis Hightower graduated from Howard University in 1962, as the top Army ROTC cadet and a Distinguished Military Graduate. A decorated Vietnam veteran, he was a regular army officer for eight years; rose to the rank of major by age 27; served in airborne infantry and strategic and operational intelligence assignments in the U.S. and abroad; and was a Ranger and senior parachutist.

As a distinguished keynote speaker, Dennis Hightower has lectured at the US Military Academy and the USMA Preparatory School, and at management conferences and business schools around the world.

Dennis Hightower has received numerous awards throughout his career, including the US Department of Commerce Pioneer Award; the Harvard Business School Alumni Achievement Award; and an honorary doctorate degree and the Alumni Achievement Award for Business Achievement from Howard University.

Hightower most recently served on the boards of directors for Accenture and Brown Capital Management. He has previously served as a member of the Defense Business Board; as a board member of Dominos, Inc., The Gillette Company, Northwest Airlines, Inc., PanAmSat Corporation, Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation, Price Waterhouse Chairmans Advisory Council, and The TJX Companies, Inc.

He also served as a member of the Deans Advisory Council and the Board of Visitors at Harvard Business School; and as a Trustee of Howard University.

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