By every sense of measure, Frances Townsend, currently the executive vice president for corporate affairs at Activision Blizzard, has a career full of positive successes behind her 59 years of life.
And it started as far back as age 11 when she became determined to be an altar boy with the Catholic Church despite the position being denied to females. Frances wrote the local bishop, the cardinal, and even the Vatican positioning for the role. And when that didn’t work she even tried dressing up as a boy, only to be caught.
Although she never achieved her ambition as an 11-year-old, Frances always had the drive and ambition to succeed. So she became the first high school graduate in her family, then graduated from university, and finally followed that up with law school.
After law school, she served as a powerful prosecutor in New York City, first at the local level and then as a United States Federal Prosecutor, putting away many white-collar and organized crime participants.
This led Frances Townsend becoming Assistant Commandant for Intelligence for the U.S. Coast Guard, and then assistant to President George W. Bush for homeland security and counterterrorism.
During the 9/11 attack, Frances was constantly under the gun providing a threat assessment to the president.
Later on, to have a more balanced work/family life, Frances moved back to working in the corporate field, and she says that her current position at Activision Blizzard pretty much uses the same skills she acquired earlier in life and she says that being one of or the only woman in the executive boardroom is never intimidating for a woman who is willing to work tirelessly to achieve her aims.