Wanda Denson-Low

Vice Chair, Rensselaer Board of Trustees

Wanda Denson-Low retired on June 30, 2014, from her position as the senior vice president of the Office of Internal Governance (OIG) for The Boeing Company, the world’s leading aerospace company. She was a member of the company's executive council, and Denson-Low was named to that position in May 2007. She was responsible for the management and oversight of compliance; internal audit; ethics and business conduct; and global trade controls, which includes all import and export activities for the entire Boeing Company.

Previously, Denson-Low had served as the company's vice president and assistant general counsel, leading the legal staff for the company’s $30 billion Defense and Space unit, BDS. Prior to that position, she had been the vice president of human resources for the defense and space businesses and was responsible for the successful implementation of employee strategies and policies for the unit’s 70,000-person workforce.

With nearly 30 years of experience in corporate law, commercial transactions, mergers and acquisitions, data rights, government contracts, and intellectual property law, Denson-Low has had a distinguished professional career that began in 1981 as a patent attorney at Union Carbide Corporation. She joined Hughes Aircraft Company in 1985 and in 1989 was named Hughes' chief patent counsel, making her the nation’s first minority woman chief patent counsel of a Fortune 500 company. In 1992, Denson-Low became the first minority woman vice president at Hughes at 34 years old and one of only four women vice presidents at that time. Denson-Low became a member of the Boeing legal team in October 2000, as part of the Boeing acquisition of Hughes Space and Communications, where she rose to the position of general counsel.

As an active community leader, Denson-Low is currently a member of the board of trustees for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. She had also served on the board of directors/trustees for the National YMCA, the Japanese American National Museum, the Windward School, and College Bound.

Her professional and business affiliations over the years have included the Los Angeles County Bar Association, American Bar Association, American Corporate Counsel Association, Black Women Lawyers Association, and the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association.  Her professional achievements include the 2011 Pioneer Award from Black Engineer of the Year, the National Asian Pacific American Corporate Achievement Award from the Organization of Chinese Americans, and, the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund Award, which recognized her as one of the 30 most powerful women in business in 2001. In 2000, she was awarded the Silver Anniversary Award from the Los Angeles Black Women Lawyers' Association for her invaluable contributions to the community.

Denson-Low earned her juris doctor from Brooklyn Law School and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is admitted to practice law in California and Connecticut. Denson-Low is married and has two children.

Wanda Denson-Low