The YWCA-NYC was proud to honor M. Michele Burns, Executive Director and CEO of Marsh & McLennan Companies’ Retirement Policy Center, as the 2012 Woman of Influence at the 39th Annual Salute Luncheon.
M. Michele Burns is Executive Director and CEO, Marsh & McLennan Companies’ Retirement Policy Center effective November, 2011. In this capacity, she serves as the Center Fellow and strategic advisor to the Stanford Center on Longevity at Stanford University.
Prior to her current role, she served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mercer, a global leader for HR and related financial advice and services, and a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC). Prior to being named Chairman and CEO of Mercer in September 2006, Michele held the position of Chief Financial Officer for MMC.
From 2004-2006, Michele served as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Restructuring Officer, and Executive Vice President of Mirant Corp., where she was responsible for directing the company’s corporate and operational financial functions, and investor relations. As Chief Restructuring Officer, she spearheaded the development of a new capital structure and plan of reorganization – two vital components in Mirant’s emergence from Chapter 11.
Previously, she was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Delta Air Lines, Inc. from August 2000 to April 2004. She held various other positions in the finance and tax departments of Delta beginning in January 1999.
Michele’s roots are within the consulting industry. She began her career with Arthur Andersen, and over the course of a successful 18-year tenure rose to Senior Partner, leading Andersen’s Southern Region Federal Tax Practice, headed its U.S. Healthcare Practice and its Southeastern Region Financial Services Practice, and served on its Global Advisory Council.
Michele currently serves on the board of directors of Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and Cisco Systems, Inc. She chairs the Audit Committee for Goldman Sachs and the Strategic Planning and Finance Committee for Walmart. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Elton John AIDS Foundation, where she holds the title of Treasurer.