Barbara Bennett is a recognized global executive with deep experience in rapid growth and high-change environments. A former chief operating officer and chief financial officer, she possesses extensive strategic, financial, and operational acumen, along with an outstanding track record for disrupting markets and guiding companies from early-stage investments to large public entities. Her industry background spans media, the environment, and diverse portfolio management, with a consistent theme of expansion.
Most recently, Barbara was president and chief operating officer for Vulcan, Inc., the engine behind philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen’s network of organizations and initiatives. It holds assets as diverse as investment management, consumer experiences, technology development, and professional sports. She was responsible for leading daily operations and corporate functions, as well as for creating and managing a strategy to ensure that Vulcan’s operational infrastructure was appropriate for achieving its vision. She also oversaw Vulcan’s real estate and capital investment arms.
Previously, Barbara was executive vice president and chief financial officer of Digital First Media and chief financial officer of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a role for which she was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. She also spent 17 years in senior executive and leadership roles with Discovery Communications, helping build the organization into one of the world’s most extensive media enterprises.
Barbara’s experience includes working with corporate boards, committees, and external stakeholders, with a background that includes both public and private sectors. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Cascade Public Media. She previously served on the boards of the Allen Institute and the Medstar National Rehabilitation Hospital.
Barbara earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt University. She completed financial management and leadership programs at Harvard Business School and Yale University.