As the third woman to hold a cabinet position, Carla Hills knows what it is like to overcome barriers with spirit, candor, and business savvy. Since then, she has become one of the world's most influential voices on international trade, commerce, and investment. She has also played a key role in negotiating some of the world's most defining trade agreements, still holding firm today. Her presentations draw on the many lessons and experiences from her long and storied career.
Carla first passed the bar in California to become Assistant United States Attorney in Los Angeles from 1959 to 1961. She continued to climb higher as a co-founder and partner at Munger, Tolles, Hills, and Rickershauser from 1962 to 1974, and an adjunct professor at UCLA teaching antitrust law. Through these experiences, she had already become an authority on federal practice and antitrust law, writing Federal Civil Practice and co-authoring the Antitrust Advisor, which was published by McGraw-Hill. As testament to her understanding of business, she went on to achieve the title of United States Assistant Attorney General, heading the Civil Division of the U.S Department of Justice, and was then named secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the third woman to hold a cabinet position. Despite lacking in relevant experience, she made such a high impression that President Ford referred to her as an exceptionally effective advocate for HUD and even listed her as a candidate for U.S Supreme Court Justice.
Carla served as United States Trade Representative from 1989 to 1993. As a member of President Bush's Cabinet, she was the President's principal advisor on international trade policy. She was also the nation's chief trade negotiator, representing American interests in multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations throughout the world. Carla was the primary U.S negotiator on the North American Free Trade Agreement and also led U.S negotiations on the Uruguay Round of the World Trade Organization. She then joined the Task Force on the Future of North America, contributing to a report that advocated greater coherence and integration in North American Trade. Carla was even awarded the Aztec Eagle, the highest honor given by the Mexican government to non-citizens. Ultimately, Carla's tenure led to the U.S. entering into numerous trade and investment agreements with countries around the world.
Carla has also held many other distinguished positions of high office, serving on the board of directors for AIG, AT&T, Chevron, Gilead Sciences, Time Warner, IBM, and United Airlines, among others. She has been an international advisor to Yale and is an executive committee member of the Peterson Institute and Trilateral Commission. She was also one of the founders, and now a trustee, of the Forum for International Policy. On top of this impressive list of connections, Carla works as a consultant and public speaker through her own firm, Hills & Company International Consultants, in which she is Chairman and CEO. She currently serves on various international advisory boards, such as the American International Group, The Coca-Cola Company, J.P Morgan Chase, and Rolls Royce. While evidenced as an expert in many subjects, she maintains a specialty on China, as Chair of the National Committee on US-China Relations, advisory board member to the National Bureau of Asian Research, and Co-chair of the Council on Foreign Relations.