Infinite Careers is a collaboration between Career Services (CAPD) and the MIT Alumni Association to explore career paths and the non-linearity of career decision making. Read profiles of alumni with unique career paths, hear their stories and network at a series of talks.


  • MIT Sloan, MS Mangement (1976)
  • MIT, Science based Mathematics (1975)


Ilene Gordon was the Presiding Director of International Paper from January 2018 to February 2023 as well as retired chairman, president and CEO of Ingredion Incorporated (NYSE:INGR). She is chair of governance and sits on the board of International Paper, is a director of Lockheed Martin, a member of both the MDCC and the audit committees of Lockheed Martin’s board, as well as a former member of the board of International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF). She is also a member of the board of Sloan Executives-Americas, as well as the co-author of the recent book, Doubling Down: The Secret Sauce for Dual-Career Families.

From 2009 through 2017 Ms. Gordon was chairman, president and CEO of Ingredion and executive chairman January through July 2018. Ingredion is a leading global producer of nature‐based ingredient solutions for food, beverage, brewing and industrial customers around the world. A FORTUNE 500 company, Ingredion has 11,000 employees, 2017 net sales of $5.8 billion.

Ms. Gordon joined Ingredion in 2009 from Rio Tinto Alcan, where as president and CEO of Alcan Packaging she led a $6.5 billion global packaging business based in Paris, France. Over her 10‐year tenure with Alcan and Pechiney, which was acquired by Alcan in 2003, she held various leadership positions, starting as senior vice president of Pechiney Plastic Packaging.

Previously Ms. Gordon spent 17 years in executive roles of increasing responsibility at the Packaging Corporation of America, a division of Tenneco Inc. Before joining Tenneco Inc., Ms. Gordon spent two years at Signode, a leading global packaging company specialized in materials handling. From 1976‐ 1980, Ms. Gordon worked at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), an international management consulting firm, as a strategy consultant, based in the Boston, London, and Chicago offices.

Ms. Gordon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics, Phi Beta Kappa, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mass., and a Master of Science degree in management from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

In the past, Ms. Gordon was the first female director of five different public companies: Arthur J. Gallagher & Company, United Stationers Inc., Outboard Marine Corporation, Sundstrand Corporation and Zenith Electronics.

Ms. Gordon is an honorary board member of The Economic Club of Chicago (after serving as Chair of the Club). She was listed among Forbes Global Game Changers in 2016 and was one of FORTUNE’s Most Power Women for a number of years: five consecutive years on the U.S. list and two years on the global list.

In 2018 Ms. Gordon received the Executive Leader Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals. In 2017 she received: The Civic Federation Lyman J. Gage Award for outstanding civic contribution; the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Daniel H. Burnham Award for Distinguished Leadership; the Committee of 200 Corporate Innovator Luminary Award; and the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award, distribution, and manufacturing category. Additionally, she received the Committee for Economic Development Leadership in Diversity Award in 2016 and the National Association of Corporate Directors 2013 Director of the Year award.