Cynthia Brinkley shares her thoughts on climbing the corporate ladder for April 17 Assembly Series

Brinkley’s insider’s guide to getting ahead will conclude the spring 2013 lecture series

Anyone with aspirations for climbing the corporate ladder knows that the best advice comes from insiders at the top, and Cynthia Brinkley has occupied the top rungs at some of the largest and most-established companies for more than a quarter-century.


At 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 17, in Graham Chapel, Brinkley will share her experiences at AT&T and most recently, General Motors.

Her talk, “The View From HQ: Thoughts on Corporate Leadership, Past, Present and Future,” also serves as the annual Adele Chomeau Starbird Lecture, sponsored by the Women’s Society of Washington University. The event is free and open to the public.

During her tenure at AT&T, Brinkley served as senior vice president for talent development and chief diversity officer. In this key position, she was charged with identifying and developing future company leaders as well as overseeing staff development and company-wide training programs.

As president of AT&T Missouri and AT&T Arkansas, Brinkley directed the company’s regulatory, legislative, governmental and external affairs in those states. In 2011, she joined GM to head up corporate human resources and direct diversity strategies.

Brinkley lends her time and expertise to educational organizations such as the National Oasis Institute, and, closer to home, serves on Washington University’s Board of Trustees. She holds two bachelor’s degrees: one in journalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia; and one in political science from Truman State University.

This is the final Assembly Series program for the spring 2013 semester. Look for the fall 2013 schedule in late August at

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