Mary Quin

Highly successful businesswoman who had an 18-year career in corporate America before returning to NZ and heading up the Callaghan Institute.

Mary Quin was one of a group of 16 tourists taken hostage in Yemen by local militants. Mary’s dramatic escape during a gun battle between the militants and the Yemen army, in which four tourists were killed and two wounded, made headline news around the world. 

She wrote a book about her experience "Kidnapped in Yemen".  A dual citizen of New Zealand and USA, Mary now lives between the two countries as she set up her own business, assisting companies to move into and trade with the USA.

Formerly Senior Vice President of Xerox Corporation, Mary has a strong background in research and development. At Raychem Corporation in California, she invented and patented new alloys used in electronic, medical and aerospace applications. Later, as a Product Manager for a start-up company, Beta Phase, Inc., Quin developed a new class of high performance electronic connectors before leaving to pursue an MBA at the Harvard Business School. Upon graduation from Harvard, Quin held a variety of roles with the Eastman Kodak Company and Avid Technology, Inc., a leader in digital video editing systems. At Avid, Quin completed a successful expansion of the company’s manufacturing capacity and reduced the cost structure of its assembly and shipping operations.

In 1998, she was a member of the US State Department’s delegation to the Vital Voices Conference on economic development in Northern Ireland. Her corporate experience, and her passion and participation for women's rights and travel, leave Mary well qualified as an inspirational speaker who can cover a range of business and social issues.

From 2013 to 2016, Mary served as the Chief Executive of the Callaghan Institute which is charged with making New Zealand's research-led business more innovative.  She was named NZ Herald's New Zealander of the Year in 2014.

Mary Quin holds a Ph.D. in physics from Northwestern University and an MBA from Harvard.