WoW Blog (Woman of the Week) Blog

WoW Blog (Woman of the Week)

Each week this blog will feature a prominent woman who made significant contributions to engineering or science. If you have any women you'd like us to feature please let us know and we'll do our best to include them.

Do you know of a great woman in engineering that should be recognized? Let us know! Submit a few paragraphs about that person and we'll add her to the blog. Please provide a citation for the material that you submit so that we can verify it. Please note - it has to be original material. We cannot publish copywritten material or bulk text taken from books or other sites (including Wikipedia).

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Woman of the Week – Lisa Drake

Posted May 08, 2017 4:30 PM by lmno24

Lisa Drake is an executive in the automotive industry with a number of achievements already accomplished. She’s one of the youngest chief engineers at Ford Motor Company, and a recipient of the prestigious Automotive Hall of Fame’s Young Leader and Excellence Award, which recognizes the achievements of today’s automotive innovators who have demonstrated significant potential as future industry leaders.


She’s currently the Global Purchasing Director at Ford Motor Company, but she’s worn several hats over the years from Chief Engineer to Super Duty Assistant Chief Engineer.

She was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and currently lives in Royal Oak, Michigan. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon and her MBA from the University of Michigan.

She was hired at Ford right after graduation, as a part of the Ford College Graduate (FCG) Program. The three year program allows new hires to test the waters in many departments within the company and get a feel for the overall product development process, Drake said in an interview with

“I flew to Dearborn to interview and knew that I wanted to work for the Ford Motor Company the minute I landed and saw all of the buildings with Ford logos. I soon realized this is a community — not just a company,” she said.

Following her official hire after completing the post-college program, she’s successfully climbed the ladder at Ford and been there through some big changes and launches. While she was Chief Engineer, she played a large role in the launch of electric vehicles.

During that time, she noted that she was energized by Ford’s recent decision to invest an additional $450 million in its electric vehicle plan, which includes not only electrified vehicles, but also battery system design and development.

“We have such a great depth of talent and experience in hybrid and electric vehicles at Ford, and this gives us confidence going forward,” Drake said. “Twenty-five years from now I can imagine being able to tell stories about how I was on the team that delivered some of the first electric vehicles for Ford in the 21st century.”

Credit: Jim Farley Photos

In addition to her role with purchasing, she also has a hand in the program where she got her start – recruiting college students. She helps find people who will help make the company improve, as well as working hard herself.

“I look for someone with a quiet confidence about him or her. Someone who is willing to put in the hard work to do the right thing for the customer, someone who is more concerned about that than what their next promotion or corporate move would be, and someone who is honest and willing to tell the tough story in an unemotional way,” she said in a 2011 interview.



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Re: Woman of the Week – Lisa Drake

05/12/2017 11:51 AM

Keep going on JOB #1: Quality. Cheers to Ford Mo.Co., what it is now, and the heritage you folks keep alive, and bring with you in every product.

Keep the dreams alive, all of them, keep building better, stronger products, and you will of course prosper.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just build a better one.
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