Women In Leadership

2015 Women in Leadership | Designing Your Career

March 27, 2015
9 a.m.
Lenhart Grand Ballroom,
Bowen-Thompson Student Union

Keynote Speaker:

Amy DuBois Barnett, former editor-in-chief, Ebony

Feature Presenter:
Jan Heppe, president of the Americas, Burberry

Additional Feature Presenters being confirmed.

In Review

Keynote Speaker:  You Can Have the Career You've Always Dreamed Of

Amy DuBois Barnett, former editor-in-chief, Ebony


An award-winning media executive and brand architect, Amy DuBois Barnett is of one of our nation's premier curators of American popular culture. Her vision has shaped the pages of Harper's Bazaar, Essence, Teen People, Honey magazine, and Ebony—the oldest and largest black magazine in the country where she was formerly editor-in-chief.

At Ebony, Barnett executed the publication’s first top-to-bottom redesign in its 66-year history to critical acclaim. She also introduced key new editorial franchises, such as the Ebony Beauty Awards and the “Black Wealth” and “50 Finest” issues, as well as groundbreaking editorial packages, such as “Multiracial in America,” “Can We Save Detroit,” “Black Men in America,” and “Election 2012.”

Under her leadership, Ebony grew its base by 11 percent in 2011, was listed as one of Ad Age’s 25 fastest growing magazines in the country based on circulation, and won a record-breaking eight Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists in 2012. Ad Age also listed Ebony as a “2012 magazine brand to watch” and MinOnline listed Ebony as one of the top five advertising gainers in the industry for its June 2012 issue. Barnett was named the “2012 media executive of the year” by Target Market News.

Barnett has appeared weekly as an on-air correspondent for CNN’s American Morning and has been featured on many national television shows including The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Early Show, Nightline, and on various programs on VH1, MTV, and BET.

For her pioneering work as a journalist, style expert, and writer, Barnett received the Trailblazer Award from the New York Association of Black Journalists, an Aldo Award for fashion journalism from the Fashion Association, and a Hurston/Wright Award for creative writing. She is on the board of the American Society of Magazine Editors and is a member of the Fashion Committee of the School of the Arts Institute in Chicago.

A Brown University graduate, Barnett also has an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University and a certificate in fashion merchandising from Parson’s School of Design. She is the author of the NAACP Image Award-nominated advice book for women Get Yours! How to Have Everything You Ever Dreamed of and More. She is also a published fiction author whose work has appeared in various journals and anthologies.

Prior to Ebony, Barnett was the deputy editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar. Before that, she was the managing editor of Teen People, entering history books as the first African American woman in the country to head a major mainstream consumer magazine. With Barnett’s editorial redesign, Teen People grew to lead the teen category in audience (with 14 million readers) and reader satisfaction scores increased to their highest levels since the publication’s launch. Her groundbreaking redesign of TeenPeople.com made it the first media website to incorporate video into its regular content.

Feature Presenter

Jan Heppe ‘74, President of the Americas, Burberry

Jan Heppe is President of the Americas for Burberry. In this role, Jan is responsible for driving the strategy, operations, and growth of Burberry across the region which includes the United States, Canada, Central and Latin America.


Since joining Burberry in 2001, Jan has been instrumental in developing the Americas business with a focus on integrating digital, growing the beauty business, developing luxury travel retail and unlocking the potential of emerging high-growth markets in Latin America. As a result, Burberry continues to deliver significant growth in the region, which today represents twenty-five percent of Burberry’s global revenue.

Prior to becoming President Americas, Jan served as Chief Operating Officer from 2010 to 2013, and prior to that, Senior Vice President of Stores. Before joining Burberry, Jan was Senior Vice President and Director of Stores for Loehmanns Inc., and Senior Vice President General Manager at John Wanamaker Department Store.

Jan is an alumna of Bowling Green State University.