Pamela L. Carter, J.D.

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Pamela L. Carter, J.D.
President, Cummins Distribution Business
Cummins Inc.
Columbus, Ind.

To say that Pamela Lynn Carter is a survivor would be an understatement. The first African-American woman elected to the Office of Attorney General in Indiana and all of the United States, Carter battled cancer three times. She says, “Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee nation, once said, ‘the cow runs away from the storm while the buffalo charges directly toward it…and gets through it quicker.’ Whenever I’m confronted with a tough challenge, I do not prolong the torment. I become the buffalo.”

Carter served as attorney general from 1993 to 1997, after working as an enforcement attorney for Indiana’s secretary of state. Today, she is president of the distribution business of Cummins Inc., a global leader in the manufacture of engines and related technologies for the power industry. While her parents are the “cornerstone” of all of her successes, she acknowledges the mentorship of the company’s chairman, CEOs and others, as well as that of Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) “They invested in my development, took risks on me and gave me extraordinary support and opportunities even while I battled cancer,” she says. 

Carter is especially proud of her family’s accomplishments. Married 43 years, she and her husband raised two successful children through “hardship… and prolonged and pervasive challenges.” Carter earned a master’s degree in social work at the University of Michigan, a juris doctor at Indiana University School of Law, and a senior executive master’s in public administration at the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard. She also holds four honorary doctorates. In 1995, Ebony magazine named her to its list of “100 Most Influential Black Americans.”

She plans to be more involved in community issues — poverty, homelessness, education and corporate board work — but will make time for power boating, fly fishing, walking and biking, as well as gardening, cooking, dancing and entertaining.

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