Rhonda Vetere, BA Communication ’92, is chief information officer for Herbalife Nutrition and leads the information and technology strategy and technology operations.
For more than 25 years, Vetere has lived and worked internationally and has managed teams of more than 20,000 technology and operations professionals in more than 160 countries. She has served in a multitude of executive information technology positions in companies such as JPMorgan, Hewlett Packard, Compuserve, Barclays, Lehman Brothers, and Estée Lauder. Recognized as one of the most powerful women in technology, Vetere did not set out to have a career in the field.
“I didn’t intend on following a career in IT until a supervisor saw the skills I had in change management and my appetite for technology,” she says. “That super- visor eventually became a close mentor and was the catalyst that steered my career to a more technical role.”
Vetere’s journey is marked with grit, a sentiment that is also conveyed in the title of her latest book, Grit & Grind: 10 Principles for Living an Extraordinary Life. Early in her career, she was one of the youngest female managing directors in the finance sector. This experience prepared her with the determination needed to be a player in historically male dominated industries. Vetere’s mother modeled these qualities when Vetere was growing up by working two jobs to support their family. When Vetere was a student at Mason, she worked full time to put herself through school.
Now a seasoned leader across industries, Vetere gained her foundation at Mason. “For those like me, you figure out what’s next after entering the workforce, but college gave me the foundation to understand business. Mason offered hands-on training for the skills needed going into any profession; skills such as writing, communication, the ability to debate an argument and negotiate the outcomes.”
The ultimate corporate athlete, Vetere has raced in more than 70 events (and counting), including triathlons, half marathons, marathons, and IRONMAN 70.3-mile triathlons. She is also an IRONMAN Bronze All World Athlete, as a result of her performance in the top 10 percent of her age group in the 2019 race season.
In 2018, Vetere became involved with the inaugural Serengeti Girls Run, the first ever women only run that spans 55 miles in the western corridor of the Serengeti and serves as a fundraiser for girls’ empowerment programs. She returned to Tanzania in 2019 and 2021 to participate and lend awareness to the challenges facing girls and women in nearby communities.
Published fall 2021