Hollins Alumna Is Recognized as One of the Outstanding Women in the Communications Industry

Alex Trower '86

Alexandra Trower ’86 is joining Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and Kim Kelleher, chief business officer for GQ, Golf Digest, Pitchfork, WIRED, and Ars Technica, in receiving one of the communications industry’s highest honors.

Trower, who is Executive Vice President, Global Communications, with The Estée Lauder Companies, has been named a winner of the 2018 Matrix Award. Presented by New York Women in Communications, the premier organization for communications professionals in the New York metropolitan area, the Matrix Award is awarded to extraordinary female leaders at the pinnacle of their careers. Previous winners of the Matrix Award include Today Show co-anchor Savannah Guthrie; Lena Dunham, creator and star of HBO’s Girls; and TIME editor Nancy Gibbs.

Trower is quick to credit her experience as an undergraduate at Hollins for empowering her with the tools to achieve such a distinguished career. “Any success I have had in my professional life starts and ends with Hollins,” she explained. “I became a true student at Hollins and benefited enormously from the incredible internships the school offered me. Those opportunities took me to Paris, Berkeley, California, and New York City, which ultimately became my home.”

Trower and Interns
Alexandra Trower ’86 talks with Hollins students who are interning in New York City during the 2018 January Short Term.

Estée Lauder Executive Chair William Lauder and Hollins University President Emerita Nancy Gray are among those who nominated Trower for the Matrix Award. They praised her dedication to promoting women’s education and health, a commitment that has manifested itself significantly in her role as a member of the Hollins University Board of Trustees. “One of my passions has been to repay my debt to Hollins through board service, sponsoring internships, and serving as a student mentor,” Trower said. “I have worked with dozens of talented Hollins women over the years and it has been one of my greatest joys.”

One of the students who is effusive in her gratitude to Trower for her guidance and encouragement is senior Emili McPhail, who during her Hollins career has interned with Estée Lauder in New York and London. She also nominated Trower for the Matrix Award.

“I was a college sophomore with little work experience and Alex gave me a chance,” McPhail recalled. “She has championed me from the day I met her, and has fought for me to have every opportunity to succeed. Truly, it’s a privilege to know her as a mentor and role model. She has inspired the woman that I want to become.”

Trower assumed her current role with Estée Lauder, the world’s leading prestige beauty company, in 2008. In addition to serving as an Executive Officer of the Company and on the Executive Leadership Team, she is a founding member of the Inclusion and Diversity Committee and is an Executive Co-Sponsor of the company’s LGBTQA employee resource group. She oversees corporate, social, crisis, Lauder family, and philanthropic communications, including The Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Campaign, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and whose mission is to end breast cancer in our lifetime.

Trower also serves as Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF), which supports female journalists worldwide who risk their lives to cover news that might not otherwise be reported. In 2014, she received the IWMF’s Corporate Leadership Award in recognition of her more than 15 years of service and fundraising.

“In the decade Ms. Trower has led global communications for The Estée Lauder Companies, she has, with her wisdom and grace, proven to be not just a highly talented communications executive but also a business strategist and key contributor to the company’s success,” said Lauder. “She is the effective leader who has come to her role from a place of humility and who is followed because she has the brightest ideas and can express them while leaving her ego behind. Her opinions are highly valued because she presents them only with the goal of promoting continued excellence.”

Trower, Brzezinski, and Kelleher will officially receive the Matrix Award at a special event in New York City on April 23.