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Alyson Warhurst is the founding CEO of Maplecroft, a global risk advisory, indexing and issue-mapping company based in Bath, England. Maplecroft was founded in 2001 and now analyzes more than 100 global risks to provide companies and investors insight into the political, economic, social and environmental risks they face. In January, Ms. Warhurst was awarded the title of honorary professor at Warwick Business School, part of the University of Warwick in Coventry, England. Ms. Warhurst is a faculty member of the World Economic Forum and has been an active member of the Clinton Global Initiative, a philanthropic group. She is a board member of anti-corruption organization Transparency International U.K. and a member of the United Nations' Working Group on Human Rights. Ms. Warhurst operates a mentoring program for women working at Maplecroft–just over 50% of the company's staff are female. She is active in the “Girls Discovered” project for which Maplecroft maps more than 100 issues facing the development of adolescent girls and their inclusion in economic growth across the world.
WHAT'S THE BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE YOU RECEIVED?
A project is never finished until you have exceeded your client's expectations. Every time.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG WOMEN ENTERING THIS FIELD?
Get the very best education you can, first of all, to provide you with confidence and to empower you on the long and lonely journey ahead. You need three things to succeed: talent, of course education helps here; luck, that's down to fate; and a mentor—seek out a boss who believes in you and will support your ascent.
OUTSIDE OF WORK AND FAMILY, WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST?
(Recently released Myanmar pro-democracy leader) Aung San Suu Kyi for her elegant commitment to her country, her beliefs, human rights and justice.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?
A war correspondent in the thick of humanitarian crises bringing awareness to the world.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?
WHAT'S THE MOST INTERESTING PLACE YOU'VE BEEN?
Machu Picchu, the lost valley of the Incas, in Peru.
WHAT DO YOU PREFER AND WHY: PHONE OR E-MAIL?
Phone—to develop empathy, although I am rarely without my BlackBerry 24/7.
Business Insurance's annual Women to Watch feature is our attempt to identify and recognize individuals doing exceptional work in risk management, benefits management, commercial insurance and related fields.