Stephanie A. Burns was born in Wyoming in 1955 to real estate agent and history professor parents, and even as a child was very interested in science and technology. She went on to earn her PhD in organic chemistry, specializing in organosilicon chemistry from Iowa State University which inclined her to take a position at Dow Corning. Her research career at Dow Corning lead to multiple patents on Si-based polymers. Stephanie shifted her focus from research to corporate management in 1997, and in 2003 was named Dow Corning’s first woman president, and a year later was named the company’s CEO. Her retirement at the end of 2011 was followed by appointments on a number of boards including US President’s Export Council and the Society for Women’s Health Research; she also remains an active member of Dow Corning’s board of directors. The following article from business week exemplifies the leadership and innovative spirit that has made her successful.