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ManpowerGroup's Mara Swan Named 2012 HR Executive of the Year

ManpowerGroup's Mara Swan Named 2012 HR Executive of the Year
Executive Vice President, Global Strategy and Talent, Recognized for Outstanding Contributions to HR Profession

ManpowerGroup the world leader in innovative workforce solutions, is proud to announce that Mara Swan, ManpowerGroup Executive Vice President, Global Strategy and Talent, has been named HR Executive of the Year for 2012 by Human Resource Executive&reg magazine. The HR Executive of the Year accolade is presented to only one individual annually, recognizing human resources leaders who have made outstanding contributions to their organization and the HR profession as a whole, as well as exemplifying the increasingly strategic role of human resources in the contemporary world of business.

During her seven years at ManpowerGroup, Swan has made unique and lasting contributions to the HR industry through her contemporary approach and ability to make connections between the company's strategy, its talent and the necessary behaviors to drive results. Swan leads the $22 billion company's global human resources, talent and development strategy, as well as driving strategic execution and building the company's culture. She also has ultimate responsibility for the company's global risk, marketing, communications, thought leadership, innovation and corporate social responsibility functions across 80 countries and territories, including ManpowerGroup's full-time, contract and contingent workforces — 3.5 million people in 2011.

"Mara's style, ability and approach can be categorized by three meaningful words — contemporary, connections and coach — and are what make her uniquely qualified to lead the role she serves at ManpowerGroup and a leader in her own field. Mara's unique purview and core expertise has elevated the human resources function and its importance within the company as the catalyst for accelerating the execution of ManpowerGroup's business strategy," said Jeffrey A. Joerres, ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO. "She is a natural-born coach who has the uncanny ability to make connections in order to quickly translate strategy into behaviors, mindsets and actions. On behalf of the ManpowerGroup family, I would like to congratulate Mara on this deserving honor."

Swan's visionary anticipation of the role HR functions of the future will play within organizations includes a profession which incorporates opposing skill sets strategic yet tactical, conceptual yet action-oriented, the ability to anticipate and react, and always pushing the limits of what's next. Evidenced in her influence of ManpowerGroup's thought leadership and innovation strategy, Swan brings the right balance of an outside-in approach, as she intimately relates to the HR needs of clients, candidates and governments, while pushing the boundaries of creating people-driven workforce solutions that improve work models, people practices and organizational performance to the next frontier.

"Despite an impressive pool of candidates, this year's judging panel had little difficulty selecting Mara as our 2012 HR Executive of the Year. Indeed, the panel's decision was unanimous," said David Shadovitz, Editor of Human Resource Executive&reg. "Mara stands out as an extraordinary HR leader who raises the bar for the entire profession and demonstrates the kind of impact HR leaders can have on their respective organizations."

One of Swan's most significant contributions to the HR profession is that in multiple organizations comprising well-respected HR leaders, she herself is regarded as a leader. She holds several leadership roles in a number of HR organizations, including as Secretary and Treasurer of the Personnel Roundtable, a member of the board of directors for the HR Policy Association, and leads the JOBipedia Steering Committee, HR Policy Association's career advice website for new entrants into the workforce.

At a critical May 2011 Capitol Hill event hosted by the HR Policy Association, Swan was one of three top global HR executives asked to present on a panel regarding specific blueprint recommendations for which she significantly contributed to, titled "Blueprint for Jobs in the 21st Century: A Vision for a Competitive Human Resource Policy for the American Workforce." This blueprint contained recommendations on education, workforce development, immigration, regulatory reform and healthcare to map the restoration of job growth and competitiveness in the U.S.

In recognition of her success over the years, Swan was inducted into the Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame when she received the Peak Performer Award from Junior Achievement for her community service leadership and support. She was named one of Diversity Journal's "Women Worth Watching" in 2010 and a "Woman of Influence" by the Milwaukee Business Journal in 2008. Swan's passion for advancing women leaders in the workplace, and throughout her career as an HR leader, has driven her to champion diversity as an important element in improving an organization's perspective of thought.

Due to her expertise, as well as her status as a successful woman leader, Swan participated in a session of the 2012 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting titled "Gender Dynamics, a Systemic Approach to Gender Parity." Most recently, she has been named a member of the WEF Global Agenda Council on Leadership and just last week Swan moderated a panel at The Economist's "Ideas Economy: Human Potential" conference, titled "Collaboration in the Human Age", which explored the need for employers to build a collaborative organization in the Human Age, an era that demands companies find ways to engage and empower employees to increase productivity.

The October issue of Human Resources Executive magazine features a cover story profile on Swan, who will also be formally recognized at a special awards dinner on Tuesday 9 October at the University Club of Chicago. Former HR Executive of the Year winners include HR leaders from Google, IBM and General Electric. The 2012 HR Executive of the Year and HR Honor Roll winners are profiled in the October issue of Human Resource Executive, which can be found at


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