By Keith Laing - 01/28/14 09:00 AM EST
General Motors CEO Mary Barra, who is the first woman to lead a U.S. car company, will sit in First Lady Michelle Obama’s box at the State of the Union.
The White House announced the selection of Barra, who ascended to the top GM job this month, in a blog post on Tuesday.
GM is the seventh-largest company on Fortune's 500 list, making Barra the highest-ranking female chief executive in the country. She took over the top spot from Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman, who ran unsuccessfully for California governor in 2010.
The White House said Barra and other guests of the first lady will be continuing a trend of spotlighting “extraordinary Americans who exemplify the themes and ideals laid out in the State of the Union Address” that first began under former President Reagan.