The Hill's 25 Women to Watch: Page 20 of 26

alt

INFLUENCERS

SUSAN MOLINARI

VICE PRESIDENT OF POLICY AND GOVERNMENT RELATIONS, GOOGLE

Susan Molinari has gone from Congress to the TV co-anchor chair during her career, and she has shaken things up again with a bold move to Silicon Valley.

Molinari, 54, was tapped to head Google’s Washington office in February, a sought-after job that comes with the prestige of working for one of the nation’s most successful Internet companies. 

Leading the D.C. office of a growing enterprise like Google would be a daunting task for anyone, but Molinari said she’s always been attracted to big challenges.

“None of these positions come with a guarantee of no failure,” Molinari said. “Step outside your comfort zone in order to challenge yourself and bring your experiences to another place.”

Taking risks has paid off, she said, because with big challenges “comes the bigger opportunity to do things like I’m doing now.”

Congress and the hip Silicon Valley search giant might seem worlds apart, but the former House GOP lawmaker believes the two aren’t so different.

“[There’s] one thing that’s clear in the Google ethos, and that is a respect for their users,” she said. “They want to hear from them, they want to work for them. They’re helping the next new business, helping the next Google. And if you’re an elected official and you’re doing your job the right way, that’s what you want to do.”

Working at a search company wasn’t something that Molinari envisioned at the start of her career, especially coming from a political family. Her father, Guy Victor Molinari, served as a Republican House member from 1981 to 1989.

Molinari said she hopes to have “a long and healthy relationship” with her new employer.

“I have a tendency to not plan too far in the future, but not to look back, either, and that’s been the key to my happiness,” she said.

— Jennifer Martinez

Pages