Business 100 - 2009

Deirdre Connelly/Lilly USA

Deirdre Connelly has been President of Lilly USA since June 2005. In the fall of 2006, and again this year, she was recognized by Fortune magazine as one of the 50 most powerful women in business.  She was also included on Fortune’s “Young and Powerful” list. Connelly joined Lilly in 1984 as a sales representative and worked her way up the ranks. Before assuming the role of president, Connelly was senior vice president of Human Resources. In 2008, she was appointed to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Connelly earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and marketing from Lycoming College in Pennsylvania in 1983. She graduated from Harvard University’s Advanced Management Program in 2000. Born to an Irish father and Puerto Rican mother, Connelly is one of nine children, and upon hearing that she would be in the Business 100 said her  “father would be smiling from heaven.”