Legal AlienLegal Alien

A Latina in the Executive Suite

American-Cuban-Nicaraguan Grace Lieblein Named GM Vice President Global Purchasing

By Simón Gómez Dec 19, 2012 7:13AM

In any truly multinational corporation the head of global purchasing is a very powerful position. The person in charge of such office is in command of a very large and powerful checkbook and in his or her hands lays the fortunes many local economies and the fate of thousands employments. The vice presidency of global purchasing is in many cases a stepping-stone to the office of the chief executive office.


This is no different for the revitalized General Motors one of the largest and most successful automakers in the planet. As it turns out GM has just appointer a new vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. This is not the kind of event that I would normally comment about in Legal Alien but rather in the notes that I write for MSN Latino Autos. The auto industry is one of the subjects that occupy a great deal of my attention. In this case however, the story is a perfect fit for Latinzine as this new head of global purchases in General Motors is a Latina.


Grace Lieblen, a native of the state of California and the daughter of a Cuban father and a Nicaraguan mother, has just been appointed vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. What a badge of honor for the Latino community!


Ms. Lieben is not the first Hispanic executive appointed to be GM’s purchasing czar. In 1992 the Basque José Ignacio López de Arrirtoua was promoted to the same position. Ms. Lieben is however, the first American Latina to have reached the rarified Olympus of GM’s executive suite. Ms. Lieben an industrial engineer with a Master Degree from Michigan State University was previously to this appointment no less than the president and managing director of the colossus known as GM do Brasil and before that she held a similar position for the fairly large GM de M´éxico, a mayor automobile exporter to the US. She also holds a seat in Honeywell`s board of director, is a wife and the mother of a 21 year old daughter.


So, here is my suggestion. Tell your child Ms. Lieben’s story, pull her photo above on to your desktop, print it and post it on you child’s bedroom wall next to Justin Beaver or LeBron James and make sure they wont let anyone tell them in the future that they can not be whatever they want to be, provided of course that they work hard for it.

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Dec 20, 2012 11:07AM
Good for her and congratulations for her efforts, but after reading the entire article there's something in the heading that boggles my mind. The heading above says she is Mexican Nicaraguan and in the article it says her father is Cuban and her mother Nicaraguan, then that makes her Cuban Nicaraguan and not Mexican Nicaraguan, now by being born in USA she is of course American.Thanks, Franklin Palmezano
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About the author
  • SimónSimón Gómez

    Political junkie, loud mouth extraordinaire, and a born gear head, Simón found himself in Miami after 11 years of practicing law in Caracas and being a good ole boy. While always attuned to American culture, his heart is firmly rooted in the Latino community. Simón wrote for three years the car pages of Maxim en Español and has been freelancing for MSN Latino since 2011. Simón divides his time between his two dogs, his production work, and his writing.