Chairman, Non-Executive Director, Board Director & Advisor
Robin Headlee- Chairperson, Business Council for Women in International Trade
Robin Headlee is a distinguished Chairperson of the International Trade Council, serving as a prominent leader in the Women in International Trade Business Council. With a remarkable career spanning diverse industries, she brings her expertise to the forefront of international trade and business.
Robin's career journey commenced in sales and marketing before spending 15 years in Strategy Consulting and ultimately embarking on a career in Media & Entertainment and Education & EdTech. Her remarkable career led her to her most recent full-time role at Discovery Inc, the powerhouse behind beloved brands such as Discovery Channel, Science Channel, and Animal Planet. Her rapid ascent within Discovery's education division, from VP to SVP to COO, and ultimately Managing Director / President of Discovery Education International, is a testament to her exceptional leadership.
A solid educational foundation and honed skills have been pivotal in Robin's career. She holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BSc in Business Administration from Miami University, graduating with distinction from both institutions. Robin possesses deep expertise in P&L management, executive leadership, team building and mentoring, strategic planning, business development, and stakeholder management.
Throughout her career, Robin has spearheaded transformative projects and initiatives that have contributed significantly to her success. Notable accomplishments include achieving a 75% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) at Discovery Education International, driving business growth at Universal Pictures International from $600 million to $1 billion in three years, and working with CEOs and Boards on business expansion opportunities, which encompassed a combination of new geographical markets, customer segments, and products.
Robin's professional journey is defined by accomplishments she deeply cherishes. These include profitably growing businesses in an international context, creating a vibrant and motivated team culture, mentoring team members for success, developing innovative and sustainable operating models, and adeptly overcoming challenges as they arise.
She has actively participated in the remarkable transformation of both the Education & EdTech and and the Media & Entertainment industries throughout her career. Both industries have undergone huge transformation over the last couple of decades, largely driven by technology. In Media & Entertainment, Robin see’s the largest change as the rise of digital streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. These services have revolutionized the way people access and consume content and have shifted the power from the studios / labels to the consumer as they now determine what, how, where and when they will engage with content. The industry has also seen an increased focus on inclusion and diversity. In the Education & EdTech industries, Robin sees the acceleration of the use of digital resources in teaching and learning, accelerated most recently by the Covid epidemic, as well as more advanced pedagogical approaches that embrace collaborative, project-based, personalized, and blended learning as well as a great focus on social emotional learning.
Looking ahead, Robin anticipates greater and more rapid transformation for both industries, again fueled primarily by technology. In Media & Entertainment, Robin is excited about the impact of Generative AI throughout the value chain, from content creation to publishing, distribution and consumption. She is also excited about the shift towards more interactive content, enabled by VR and AR.
In Education & EdTech, Robin is equally excited about the continued rise of technology-infused instruction, enabled by generative AI, big data, cloud technology, and VR and AR. She is also enthusiastic about new technologies that provide more humanized teaching, with a focus on student’s social and emotional development.
Robin's excitement about the impact of technology across the value chain of both industries reflects her forward-thinking approach. She offers valuable advice to newcomers, emphasizing teamwork, networking, and staying updated on industry trends as essential skills for success.
In the face of setbacks and challenges, Robin adopts a proactive problem-solving approach. She draws inspiration from remarkable figures like Serena Williams, Greta Thunberg, Malala Yousafzai, and Sheryl Sandberg.
Beyond her professional life, Robin's interests gravitate towards sports, encompassing golf, tennis, kite surfing, diving, trekking, boating, Zumba, and weight training. These pursuits exemplify her zest for life and her commitment to achieving balance and excellence in every facet of her journey.