Suzanne McCarron, VP, public and government affairs, ExxonMobil: Power List 2017

2017 rank: 18

The best communicators today know when to stand up for the enterprises they represent. They are undeterred by a "blame and shame" environment from telling a fact-based, humble, and compelling story.

The best at this may be Suzanne McCarron. Suzanne exudes a quiet confidence, deep expertise, and an unshakable sense of integrity. It shows in the way she represents the strong and admirable culture at ExxonMobil.

Suzanne’s recent column on climate change is a great example. She wrote: "As policymakers develop mechanisms to meet the Paris goals, they should focus on reducing the greatest amount of emissions at the lowest cost to society. Of the policy options being considered, we believe a revenue-neutral carbon tax is the best." Simple, clear, and free of jargon.

In leading her team and her work in professional organizations, Suzanne is inclusive, brings out the best in everyone, and builds consensus deftly.

She exemplifies the contemporary "player-coach" comms professional that many of us aspire to be: A respected and clear-thinking leader who also possesses the personal skills and expertise to engage others, create shared belief, and anchor and enhance reputation.

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