“I am honored to be asked to speak and look forward to honoring this year’s graduates,” said Marks. “As an alumna and the proud parent of an alumna, it is a wonderful opportunity to mark and celebrate this important milestone and encourage each graduate to set big, bold goals and pursue a path of lifelong learning.”
Lehigh President Joseph J. Helble ’82 said: “It’s a tremendous privilege for the Lehigh community to have the opportunity to hear from Judy. Drawing from her wide-ranging and global experiences at multiple iconic companies and deep knowledge in her field, I know that her insights will be of great benefit to our graduates regardless of their degree program or discipline.”
An Entrepreneurial Mindset
Marks’ experience and nearly 40 years in industry span multiple areas—including systems engineering, engineering management, business development, capture, subcontract and program management, business leadership and executive management—in the aerospace and defense and the data and industrial technology worlds.
She was appointed President of Otis in 2017. Prior to Otis, Marks served as CEO of Siemens USA and Dresser Rand, a Siemens business. She was also Chair of the Siemens Foundation Board of Directors. Marks joined Siemens in May 2011 as Head of Siemens' U.S. Federal Business. She was responsible for growing a newly formed U.S. business unit tasked with providing a more comprehensive portfolio of solutions to the federal government across several sectors. Beginning her career within U.S-based companies utilizing global operations helped prepare her for the transition to global corporation leadership.
At Otis, Marks describes her strategy as applying technologies to benefit and ultimately transform society through people-focused leadership, a theme that has defined her entire career. She has a track record of transforming business approaches within large organizations and using an entrepreneurial mindset to grow elements of companies from the ground up.
“We are living in revolutionary times as the world is digitally transforming,” Marks shared on the Otis website. “... We’re continuing to innovate, to find new business models, to serve customers with excellence and to disrupt ourselves to become an end-to-end enabler of passenger mobility in a taller, faster, smarter world.”
In April 2020, Marks led Otis through a successful separation from its parent company to return to its roots as an independent, publicly traded company on the NYSE. That year, in response to the urgent problems of social unrest and entrenched racism, Marks and her executive leadership team also developed and implemented “Our Commitment to Change,” a framework to identify and prioritize actions and establish accountability to eliminate bias and inequity and ultimately measure progress across the organization. In addition to working on comprehensive diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, Marks has been an advocate for diversifying talent in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and ensuring STEM programming and opportunities get introduced early in underrepresented communities around the world.
“Why wouldn't you want a broader talent pool to solve the most challenging problems that we face?” Marks reflected in her Soaring Together: Celebrating Lehigh Women and 50 Years of Coeducation profile. “More women and diversity in engineering results in more approaches to problem-solving and frankly more success. Several studies have shown that women have high levels of emotional intelligence, so as more women enter the engineering field, this could help advance the next level of thinking for execution of STEM solutions,” she said.
Marks began her career at IBM Federal Systems, later acquired by Loral and then Lockheed Martin, where she served in various divisional leadership roles of increasing responsibility and was President of two operating divisions over eight years in Transportation and Security Solutions and Distribution Technologies.
In an article reflecting on her career, Marks said: “I like being at 50,000 feet, but I can dive as deep as anyone if need be … From the creation of an idea, to how you sell it to a customer—I’ve led business development and marketing for organizations. I had a tremendous opportunity to learn every part of what we do, and that was a journey that began when I was very young. So, value your experiences, even at the bottom of the ladder, because they can go a long way to inform your leadership style later on.”
Marks has been honored as one of the Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Technology and received the Excellence in Leadership Award from the International Society of Automation. In 2021, she was recognized with a Distinguished Leadership Award by the Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board (CED).
She serves on the Board of Directors of Otis Worldwide Corporation and AdvanceCT, and is a member of the Business Roundtable.
Lehigh and Personal Connections
Originally from Philadelphia, Marks earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Lehigh in 1984 and is also a Lehigh parent; Marks’ daughter, Sasha, graduated from Lehigh with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 2013.
While at Lehigh, Marks was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta, the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, the Gryphon Society, Hillel Society and the Society of Women Engineers.
Marks has been a supporter of Lehigh initiatives aimed at increasing diversity among the STEM disciplines and has served as a guest speaker for the Women in Technology class. From 2006 to 2016, she served as a member of the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science Dean’s Advisory Council.
Visit the Commencement website for more information on Commencement programming and updates.
The 2022 schedule is as follows:
Sunday, May 22 - 10:00 a.m. ET at Goodman Stadium
Graduate Commencement and Doctoral Hooding Ceremony
Recognizing master’s and doctoral candidates from the class.
Sunday, May 22 - 4:00 p.m. ET at Packer Memorial Church
Monday, May 23 - 10:00 a.m. ET at Goodman Stadium
Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony