Dr. Charlotte M. Farmer (’96)

Category: Alumni Professional Achievement | Awards

2023 Alumni Professional Achievement Award Winner

Dr. Charlotte M. Farmer is a distinguished executive, accomplished board director, and committed global change agent, leveraging her extensive experience and expertise to foster a safer, more secure, and more sustainable world. As senior vice president and chief operating officer of Underwriters Laboratories Inc., Farmer oversees a $2 billion P&L and the operations of a global infrastructure supporting the organization’s position as a world leader in fundamental and applied safety science research. Farmer is highly regarded for her results-driven approach, astute decision-making, and commitment to operational excellence. With Farmer at the helm of operations, UL Research Institutes remains at the forefront of research innovation, addresses global challenges, and contributes to scientific progress.

Farmer partners with the World Economic Forum, adopting Global Challenge Commitments aimed at improving safety, security, and sustainability on a worldwide scale; this work exemplifies her dedication to creating positive change and her ability to apply personal leadership and strategic capabilities toward society’s benefit.

Her previous roles include operations director at the MITRE Corporation and significant leadership positions at Booz Allen Hamilton and Eastman Chemical. She has successfully redirected declining businesses, accelerated growth, and spearheaded digital transformations across various sectors.

As a proactive board director and advisor, Farmer has served on numerous boards and committees, overseeing expertise in strategy, governance, risk, and digital transformation. She is currently the board chair for Mobility Unlimited Technology Worldwide, committee chair for the U.S. Army Science Board, and an advisor to Crittendon Services of Greater Washington and HireVue, a Carlyle Group company. The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) recently recognized Farmer as NACD Directorship Certified®, positioning her among a distinguished group of Certified Directors committed to advancing the highest standards of boardroom excellence.

Farmers earned a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the Tickle College of Engineering in 1996 and also holds bachelor’s from Tennessee Tech, an MBA from UNC Chapel Hill and a PhD from George Washington University. Her commitment to leadership, ethics, diversity, and STEM (LEADS) coalitions has been recognized with accolades, including being named one of 2020’s Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America by Savoy Magazine, a 2021 Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International, and a 2023 inductee into the Black Engineer of the Year Hall of Fame. Farmer enjoys traveling with her husband and three adult children. As an inspirational figure in the fields of technology, engineering, and corporate governance, Farmer continues to drive meaningful change and innovation, both within her organizations and on a global scale.