First Data Corporation announced Thursday that Joan Edelman Spero has been named a board member of the Company, a leading provider of electronic payment services worldwide.
Mrs. Spero was named president of the Doris Duke Charitable foundation in January of 1997. As president, she is responsible for establishing and directing the activities of the more than $1.3 billion foundation, which is dedicated to supporting a variety of charitable causes, including the performing arts, environmental preservation and the advancement of medical research.
Mrs. Spero was formerly Undersecretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs, a position to which she was appointed by President Clinton in 1993. As Undersecretary, she played a central role in formulating the Clinton Administration’s foreign economic policy. She advised Secretary of State Warren Christopher, and led the work of the State Department on issues ranging from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Uruguay Round Agreements, to the work of U.S. embassies around the world in promoting U.S. exports and investments. She also served as a top advisor on the G7 Economic Summits.
“Joan’s broad knowledge base, with experience in both international affairs and the financial services industry, will help us achieve our goal of establishing First Data as the leader in making electronic payments the payment method of choice worldwide,” said Ric Duques, president of First Data Corporation.
Mrs. Spero was an assistant professor at Columbia University from 1973 to 1979. She is the author of The Politics of Economic Relations and The Failure of the Franklin National Bank Challenge to the International Banking System. >From 1980 to 1981, during the Carter Administration, she served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Economic and Social Council. From 1981 to 1993, she was an executive at the American Express Company, where her last position was Executive Vice President for Corporate Affairs and Communications.
Mrs. Spero graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Wisconsin. She holds a Master’s degree in international affairs and a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University. She also studied at the Institute d’Etudes Politiques in Paris and is fluent in French.
Active in professional associations in foreign affairs and economics, Mrs. Spero is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Council of American Ambassadors. She serves as a trustee of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and the Brookings Institution.
Hackensack, N.J.-based First Data Corporation is a global leader in payment systems, electronic commerce and information management products and services. First Data and its principal operating units process the information that allows millions of consumers to pay for goods and services by credit, debit or smart card at the point of sale or over the Internet; by check or wire money. For further information about First Data, please visit the Company on the Internet at .Details